Moto2: Ant West Caught Doping – Issued 30-Day Ban

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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