The Phillip Island was a high for Moto2’s Ant West, as the Australian rider put his QMMF Racing bike on the second podium spot after the well-fought race. With three Australians on the podium for each of the three GP classes, the Australian GP was highlighted with Casey Stoner’s last ride at Phillip Island, making the event a bittersweet moment for the local crowd.

For Ant West though, it will be his last memory for the 2012 Moto2 season, as the 31-year-old rider from Maryborough has been handed a 30-day ban from the sport, after failing a drug test at the French Grand Prix at Le Mans. Found to have Methylhexaneamine (DMMA), a mild stimulant that is found in dietary supplements, in his system at the French round, West will miss Valencia, the last round of the Moto2 season.

There is a bit of conjecture as to how the Methylhexaneamine made its way into West’s system, though the obvious indication was that there were trace amounts in whatever dietary supplement West may have been using, which may or may not have even listed the presence of DMAA on its ingredients list.

As such it might be a cruel fate for West, who may have been unaware of the Methylhexaneamine’s presence in his supplements, however as with all doping cases of this nature, the burden is clearly on the athlete to be careful about which drugs and supplements they use while under anti-doping controls, making this perhaps a hard lesson learned

A mild stimulant, DMAA would conceivably allow a rider a greater amount of focus during a race, which is likely why it ended up on the CDI’s control list — though the drug has been linked to health risks, and suspected in the heart attacks of two US soliders. The substance is banned outright in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, with restrictions in place in Sweden and in The Netherlands, while the United States of America has challenged Methylhexaneamine producers to prove the drug’s safety.

Losing his seventh-place finish at the French GP, the results of this drug test will not affect West’s results at Phillip Island, nor any other races besides the one at Le Mans, though it will prematurely end a hot finish to his season. Handing down a relatively minor punishment, the CDI’s decision would seem to confirm that West’s failed doping test is being chalked up to inadvertent use of DMAA.

West has five days to appeal the FIM’s ban with the International Tribunal of Appeal. So far, his twitter account has been quiet on the subject of his failed doping test. For further reading, checkout Ben Spies’ interview about doping in MotoGP and the anti-doping procedures in Grand Prix racing.

Source: FIM; Photo: © 2012 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

  • Emptybee

    “It was just something I picked up at Lance Armstrong’s garage sale. How was I to know it was a banned substance?”

  • JW

    Another blow to the sport, can’t wait to put this season behind us. For the sake of Moto GP next year must get back to what it once was. I am afraid if next year is repeat crap, Dorna will no longer be able to sustain its path.

  • 76

    FYI Methylhexaneamine can be found in a lot cold & sinus over the counter medication. If you took Advil Cold And Sinus Daytime you would fail the test. Of course a racer has to know what he needs to be responsible for but its a rather mild stimulant regarded closer to a cup of coffee.

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  • Rick65

    I find the headline to be poor, sensationalist and cheap.
    For me doping is a conscious decision to use illegal substances (a la Lance or Ben J) rather than an inadvertant use as West seems to have done. The text and punishment are much milder that the headline implies.

  • pooch

    Totally agree, this isn’t a case of doping at all. And it throws a lot of very undeserved dirt at Ant West, a guy who has struggled on crap bikes for years, and now he’s got a couple podiums in a row and the world is starting to be a happy place, then this complete garbage charge.

    As 76 says this kind of positive result can be found from taking any number of over the counter cold and flu medications. This is far from ‘a blow to the sport’ I mean FFS. To get a 30 day ban for this is total rubbish, and the FIM should bow their heads in shame.


  • jeram

    poor guy.

    could have happened to anyone.

    I think the better outcome would have been just to strip his lemans result with no 30 day ban.

    but Im sure the procedures in place state that there is a minimum of 30 day ban, so this is what theyve handed down to him. the bare minimum.

  • Nori Haga redux. It seems likely that it was unintentional, but that is only guess work.

  • Max

    Cases like this have been fairly pressent in New Zeland if I am not mistaken. DMAA (or as some people call it 1-3) was/is used in many bodybuilding supplements that were/are legal to purchase.

    I have used DMAA very often in the past, and while it is a decent stimulant you can build a tolerance rather easy.

    I think it is laughable to count it as “doping” or put in the same category as the doping cyclist do (flood transfusion and that type of thing).

  • TRL


    What it once was? Maybe you aren’t old enough to remember the motorcycle industry of the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s! Not so many saints…many sinners…

    Good times….

  • Clive

    Jensen, as some of the other guys have stated, very poor choice of headline and a cheapshot. Not a good way to start your next 10 years of asphalt & rubber huh?

  • Neil

    I have to agree, this is a crap article….West should appeal this in a heartbeat.

  • spectre

    Also agree – sensationalist tasteless headline, not in-line with the facts. Doping? Doesn’t that refer to blood transfusion?

    The fact he could’ve downed 2 red bulls and achieved 10 x the medical stimulation levels means this is another Haga-like case of misfortune, and from my point of view a real shame that he may not get to show his talent on a bike that’s just starting to work for him. Not impressed with A& on this one at all…

  • Spamtasticus

    I’m sure this was just a lapse in judgement and not an attempt at getting links to this story to generate more clickthroughs to this site. That said, this article would serve as a perfect teaching tool in journalism school when they get to the course on sensationalist headlines.You have a great blog here and your association to a fine journalist like Krop gives it much weight. Lets not dilute that.

  • JW

    @ TRL

    I am 56 and raced from the same home town as Kenny Roberts AMA district 36, Modesto California.

    The sport is in trouble on many fronts and not from this silly article alone. Much has changed this sport from the good old days, those who follow GP will agree…

  • Good to see there are a lot of Ant West fans here on the site. I like the Aussie too, though I’m afraid he’s going to end his career in Moto2 (fingers crossed for a CRT ride though).

    As for the headline:

    My dictionary defines the verb doping as: “to administer drugs (to a racehorse, greyhound, or athlete) in order to inhibit or enhance sporting performance.”

    Wikipedia says, “The use of banned performance-enhancing drugs in human “sport” is commonly referred to as Doping,[1] particularly by those organizations that regulate competitions.”

    So what do we have here? West was found to have a banned substance, Methylhexaneamine, in his system. By definition, he was doping. Sorry if your connotation doesn’t mean the word’s definition.

    You can argue intent (which is just conjecture at this point), but as we have seen with the FIM’s ruling, the situation is a strict-liability infraction, and unfortunately West will sit out 30 days because of all this.

    You absolutely can dope in the sport of motorcycle racing, as concentration and focus are center pieces to the skill set required to race at the GP level. Stimulants have been medically proven to improve one’s ability to focus and concentrate, and drugs like Methylhexaneamine have had a dubious safety history. Hence, it has been banned.

    Whether or not other drugs and stimulants should be on the list, or whether Methylhexaneamine performs in a similar capacity to say caffeine or another “legal” substances, is irrelevant. The drug is on the banned list. You take it, you’re violating the rules. End of story.

    As with all professional athletes, it was West’s burden to avoid taking a banned substance, and though he may have inadvertently or unintentionally taken something with Methylhexaneamine in it, the fact remains that he had it in his system come race day, and he had a competitive advantage over the other racers who didn’t have it in their system, however slight that advantage may have been.

    The article and its headline are factually accurate, and will remain the way they are.

    Of course, everyone is entitled to their own opinion on the matter, but if this story rubs you the wrong way because of the fact that when you think of “doping” you picture bodybuilders, cyclists, and track & field athletes, then you need to change they way you think. Doping involves something beyond just steroids, blood transfusions, and muscle mass.

  • Rick65

    No problems with the article, just the headline.
    Even Crash which normally loves attention generating headlines had something like
    “West fails anti-doping test” ie one test which is a much more accurate description on the facts available.

  • TexusTim

    MAN HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO GO OFF THE TRACK WERE THAT PICTUER WAS TAKEN ?…lets see first I hit the tire barrier then hit the wire fence if im not shredded by the fence then flip over it into the arms of the unsuspecting crowd of onlookers ?..WTF THAT ISNT A RACE TRACK ITS A CHICKEN COOP WITH AN ASPHALT FRONT PORCH…lol

  • It almost looks as tho DMMA is the sponsor on the side of his bike. Red Bull must be pissed.

    What a joke. Let him appeal, ride the last race of the season and give him his suspension in December.

  • spectre

    Jensen: quoting the dictionary definition is a bit patronising – the general consensus was that the construction of the sentence was such that suggests West’s intent to gain advantage – IE ‘caught’. If a child throws an extra pack of candy in your shopping trolley and you leave the store and get stopped – it would be unfair to say the person had been ‘caught stealing’.

    Doping, while I’m aware of it’s dictionary status, is more commonly used in my experience with blood doping in endurance cycle racing – when an article can be more specific I’m more used to seeing ‘fails urine test’ or ‘illegal substance detected’ etc.

    I still feel the headline is loaded and sets an unfair slander on the rider before the more benign content has been read.

  • CJAY

    He tested positive for a mild stimulant that is not even listed as an ingredient in the products that it may be used in. In some lists of banned drugs this drug is not included. I feel for Ant – but rules are rules and it looks like he has copped it on the chin. Well done.

  • Brett

    If they are using the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List (available online) it’s very extensive and not totally clear, especially when it comes to DMAA. There are at least 7 different names for it (acc. to Wikipedia) and the WADA lists 2, neither of which is on the back of my container of Jack3d – which I have to quit using now if I want to pass drug tests for a particular powerlifting federation I may decide to join. 1,3 Dimethylamylamine HCl is what Jack3d calls it…