Ant West has been issued a retroactive ban by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and has had almost all the results for the last 18 months declared invalid.
All of West’s results between the Le Mans 2012 race and 20th October 2013 have been declared null and void, and will be scrapped from the official Moto2 results.
The retroactive ban goes back to a failed doping test at Le Mans in 2012. West had bought a supplement energy drink without checking the ingredients, and subsequently failed a drug test.
The energy drink (Mesomorph) turned out to contain the banned substance methylhexaneamine, traces of which were found in West’s urine.
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.
The use of performance-enhancing (or in the case of Anthony Gobert, performance-reducing) drugs in motorcycle racing is an interesting subject. There have been very few racers who have been caught for using doping of one kind of another, but the FIM continues to police the issue very strictly, even organizing a special educational briefing session for all of the riders in the MotoGP paddock in 2011. At Brno, when news broke of Lance Armstrong’s decision to stop fighting the charges made by the US Anti-Doping Agency, the subject came up during one of Ben Spies’ daily press conferences. Spies is both a Texan and a very keen cycle racer, running his own elite cycling team, Elbowz Racing, and so it was a natural topic for discussion.
First it was baseball, then the witch-hunt progressed through the other professional sports, going as far as NASCAR and Formula1. So, it makes logic sense to say that it was only a matter of time before the issues of athletic doping entered into the motorcycle racing world.
While the issue of doping in motorsports seems almost absurd, considering the benefits of athletic doping are deminimus when machinery takes center-stage, it would seem our beloved sport is not immune from athletes looking for that extra edge during competition.
UPDATE: David Emmett of has revealed in the comments below that Rodríguez, while testing positive during a doping screening, in fact had recreation drugs in his system, not performance enhancing drugs as we had thought earlier. Thanks for the tip David.