Ant West Loses In Doping Appeal Case, Last 18 Months' Results Scrapped

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. At the time, the FIM imposed a one month suspension on West, but the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) appealed against the leniency of the ban, and that appeal has now been partially upheld.

The CAS found that West had violated the anti-doping code, and that the use of the banned substance methylhexaneamine offered important short-term benefits in competition, which demanded punishment. However, the CAS were inclined to be more lenient than WADA had hoped, rejecting WADA's call for a two-year ban, and imposing an 18-month penalty. Furthermore, the penalty was imposed retroactively, meaning that West only faced a loss of existing results, rather than a ban from competition from this point on. But the penalty could have financial implications for West, as the Australian had two podiums at Sepang and Phillip Island in 2012, and both those results will now be rendered null and void. West may face claims to return any bonuses or prize money received for those results.

The provisional judgment of the CAS can be read in the PDF file on their website, with the full judgment due to be posted on the CAS website in the coming days.


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O Yes I remember this but it seems like a long long time ago already, let go. it is just an unfortunate case, where problems... to name one, if not most.. "a wrong passport!" I agree with someone somewhere down bellow.

obviously not a chemical engineer or a candidate for a PhD, so I do not know what that chemical does, but given it says "caffine" next to it in brackets, I am guessing it is a small dose HOW DARE YOU!!!
it is not like these guys are triathelon athletes or sprinting the 100m. They are on a bike for Pete's sake (and, yes, I know they are working their asses off).

To the ever expanding bureaucratic world, get lost.

The kind of ignorance you display here is how many athletes get caught out unintentionally taking banned substances.

Ant West is a fraud - and he wasn't very good to begin with. I realize everyone has a soft spot for the man - not here - there is much better talent out there

He's hardly a fraud - there's no indication he intended to cheat (though I would agree with you about his limited talent). ASADA has been warning about this particular substance being found in all sorts of supplements and energy drinks for about 2yrs or so, but many athletes are getting caught out through ignorance (which is obviously no excuse).

Yeah, the man only finished 5th in a GP on Michelins on a weekend when Bridgestone ruled and practice was in the rain. Limited talent? Ha! Wrong passport as likely.

Sounds like they are just trying to make themselves more important and build their status. I've never heard of them. What agreement does Dorna or the FIM have that allows them to place a case against West?

I don't believe the racing community was well served when Nori Haga was banned and I feel the same in this case.

If the fim haven't the aptitude to stand up to these Wada imbeciles then send Camelo up to Lusanne to straighten out these jerks. Why they have any jurisdiction on levying penalties in the first place austounds me. Their work should be only in determining what was found and how it entered the rider, an area they only have West's admission to and nothing else. The only example this gives is deny deny deny, admit to nothing tell. This group is coming in and trying to make an example for their own political grandstanding. Camelo needs to say the results on the website stand and won't be overturned.

Does this ban affect all the other riders who finished behind Ant West? Which means the record books would need to be changed, since for example his two podiums are null and void, but you got to have podium finishers.

In 2013 he scored 61 points and ended up 15th overall. In 2012 he ended up 16th with 52 points, but all of them scored after Le Mans. Which effectively scraps both years for him. I will now have to dig through MotoGP statistics to find out the potential ramifications for other riders. Elena Rosell comes to mind, this would improve her career top finish (Malaysia 2012) from 20th to 19th place.

I`m actually entirely interested in this as well, in regards to the ramifications. If this was someone higher up it could have quite a large impact theoretically.

I would assume it will take an effect similar to that of Lance Armstrong's results, in that his name is simply crossed off the results table, but the results of others remain unchanged.

Can you imagine guys how many times you all "cheat" coming out of Tesco? How many and how many grams of banned substances you carry in your cart? Pelargonium graveolens extract - is not anabolic, it is stimulant. But its value compared to caffeine is almost none. You overdose a little - works way opposite, you drink a few such energy drinks in a week - you encounter rapid tollerance that lasts "forever"... There is so many better drugs... eerrrr... sport nutritions ;) :) ...that EVERY racer uses... every... /anyway we are far behind F1 pharmacies on wheels ;) ;) /. I suppose West as one of a few has no personal "sport-nutrition" doctor ;) that informs him about half-period life of some stuff... and what a stupid stuff as an doping! ;) IMO West didn't learn to cheat - because he is not cheating - that's why he got caught... And he admited that he drinked energy dring... poor bastard... I would say that I ate something fried... yes fried - ie. oli-oli oil is anti-sticking fat /maybe even by some hospitalities at the track ;) :) - and that would be funny/ that is sprayed on pan directly before frying... and I mean... no.. I better stop - it is embarrasing ;) I'll go downstairs and eat a leaf of my geranium flower to see how West might feel for a moment in his life ;) :)

"West had bought a supplement energy drink without checking the ingredients,"

The ingredient list does not include methylhexaneamine, so how could West be reasonably expected to know?

What a joke!
Busting old Pharmstrong seems to have gone to WADA's heads.
Someone ought to test them for self-importance enhancing substances.

WADA generally are not involved in "busting" specific athletes.

They are the world oversight body for anti-doping. Their role is to monitor the anti-doping system strategically, by monitoring ADOs (Anti-Doping Organisations) and ensuring the WADA Code (which the ADOs and all sports bodies affiliated with the IOC and FIM are signed up) is adhered to, as well as oversee revisions to that code, based on the consensus amongst all the sports bodies and ADOs.

Armstrong was busted by USADA, the ADO in the USA (and probably also due to work a decade ago by L'Equippe's journalists Ballester and Walsh). Nothing to do with WADA.

If WADA got involved in the West case, it would have been to appeal the FIMs decision to CAS, acting to ensure the WADA code is adhered. WADA felt FIM were contravening the WADA Code in being far, far too lenient with West. CAS (an arbitration panel for sport) largely agreed with WADA.

The WADA Code spells out what punishments apply to different classes of substance, and how those punishments should be applied. It is important there is some consistency in this, otherwise it will be unfair to athletes if some get punished more harshly than others simply because of which sports body made the decision. In particular, it would be unfair to the *clean* athletes, the ones who honoured the code they signed their name to.

Of course, thanks for clarifying. I'll go back to my performance reducing substances.

Fair enough for professionals to be diligent about what they ingest, but it looks like Westy is supposed to do a wee spot of chromatography on his drink to find unlisted ingredients.

I realise that if you exempt people for unlisted ingredients it opens a large can of worms (possibly containing unlisted banned substances).

WADA doing its job.

A tough break for Ant.

exist ostensibly for a reason.I have no idea if this substance should be banned or not.But it appears all the extreme majority other riders have managed to avoid being detected with this .In fact there are seemingly countless substances which are banned and without extreme diligence,quite easily ingested accidentally. But it is clearly possible to avoid doing so and virtually all do. Care must be taken.A list followed.Just another part of the responsibility of being a professional athlete in today's world.Sad perhaps,but a not unreasonable fact of life.

I like the guy, he even could have taken unknowingly this product (though athletes should be very wary of any "energy product", especially if designed for body-building:
However genuine mistake can never be taken as an excuse for professional athletes.
For sure I would believe that Ant does not have his own nutrition specialist vetting for all the products he could legally take, that's why he should be even more careful.
I kinda feel bad for him cause I like him as a rider, but he has been tested positive for an illegal substance and the world anti doping agency is merely doing its job.
WADA website is comprehensive, anyone is one click away from accessing the list of prohibited substances:

The root of the problem here is money: yes, Ant West, as most Moto2 and Moto3 riders, is a professional athlete but his paycheck may not allow him to have an expert following his diet and making sure he stays on track regarding anti doping regulations. It is obviously hard to decipher the list of ingredients of all products you use for any athlete not really into chemistry, but it is their responsibility.
So yes, he could have sort of more of an "excuse" than professionals athletes earning millions as Tyson Gay or Asafa Powell.
However in no way does it dispense him of following WADA rules and this problem is clearly not limited to motorcycle racing: do you think people in canoe, fencing, archery, bowling, racquetball, flying disc (you read correctly, I'm talking about the World Flying Disc Federation) all have their personal nutrition specialist?

If teams took this issue seriously, they would only need to hire one guy (even share it between teams cause it would not take the guy full-time do deal with a couple riders) to educate their riders and guide them to avoid prohibited substances.
Even with the millions invested in MotoGP I have no idea if this issue is correctly dealt with (David, would you have a clue? That could be an interesting read), hopefully this whole affair could make them reconsider the way they deal with this topic.

They could tell WADA where to go.

Doping control in sport never catches major offenders until it's either years too late or politically convenient.

It's usually people from minor countries without the backing of major corporate sponsors. Drug cheating rife in most physical sports and the arbitrary classifications of what is and isn't performance enhancing is nonsensical. e.g. If a rider is riding pumped full of pain killers that is surely performance enhancing, yet this receives a pass with WADA. Where as treatments that allow quicker and better recovery from injury are banned (steroids - get an injury as a normal person and your doctor will definitely prescribe them.)
It's worth noting that many, many of these substances are perfectly legal to buy over the counter and take, it's only because they can mask another substance that WADA bans them.

It's been a farce for years, it hasn't stopped people taking banned substance nor has it detected the major uses of them.

WADAs answer to their failed tactics is simply to do them harder. Which is stupid verging on criminally insane but totally standard for what is really an extra-legal organisation with zero legislative legitimacy.

Just to take 2 sports as examples who are widely popular, most prominent riders and winners of Tour de France this past 10-15 years, and so many world record settlers and olympic medalists in athletics such as Ben Jonhson, Marion Jones, Justin Gatlin, Tyson Gay, Asafa Powell have been caught.

More to the point, WADA has to be an independent entity otherwise many national or international federations (or even governments) could have an interest in covering for some of their elite athletes (does it ring a bell?). It also ensure fairness in treatment of athletes no matter which country they come from or sport they practice (would you trust all countries and/or federations to exert control on their athletes with the same zeal?).

To take a recent well publicized example, the Jamaican federation performed 106 tests in 2012, compared to Germany 8,077, Italy 6,794, UK 5,971, Australia 5,186 or Japan 4,956 (or US 4,051, Russia 15,854 and China 10,066). Also, reportedly they did not perform a single blood test (possibly in part due to a budget definitely not on par with other federations).
Jamaican athletes were tested positive by WADA during the 2012 Olympics.
Some nations or sporting federations may not have the will or the means to carry proper investigations, that is why it is necessary to rely on an international and independent organization.

About therapeutic use exemption, all the information is out there on WADA website for anyone who cares enough to read it:
"This section provides information about the TUE process and is intended for athletes, members of Therapeutic Use Exemption Committees (TUECs) or for anyone involved or interested in this area of anti-doping.
The purpose of the International Standard for Therapeutic Use Exemptions (ISTUE) is to ensure that the process of granting TUEs is harmonized across sports and countries."

You cannot compare the need for WADA among long distance runners, Tour De France riders and sprinters and motorcycle riders participating in sprint races. I think the differences are rather self evident.

I love the comments about the man being a fraud! How exactly is he a fraud? Why has MM degenerated into comments with people making assertions that they certainly wouldn't have the balls to make to someone's face.

You may not like him as a person, you might think he could ride faster or better, but 'fraud'. Get real.

Some here state that other riders didn't get caught, so they're not cheating. Read Tyler Hamilton's book 'the secret race' to learn how cyclists managed to defeat the drug tests. Remember Armstrong was never tested positive, aside from an alleged incident many years ago. So the absence of being caught does not mean that no one else is doing it. It just means they are not getting caught. There is a world of difference.

You may also remember that last year there was no minimum weight for the Moto2 class. Ant is the same size and height as me and I weight about the same (mid 60s). I'm blessed with a metabolic rate that allows me to stay at that weight with moderate excercise and healthy eating. Not everyone is as lucky as me. And my diet and excercise regime wouldn't allow me to ride at the pace he does for the duration they all have to. I wouldn't be surprised if the majority of supplements that Moto2 riders took last year were to keep lean muscle and burn any remaining fat whilst retaining the energy levels required for racing and not to act as an artificial stimulant.

West's situation has been talked about here before. he rides for basically nothing, cannot afford specialists, gets no help from Dorna or the FIA or MSMA as far as I know. He makes a mistake that could not possibly have influenced his results to any great degree.
His performance is essentially his senses, sight, and motor skills, which is a lot different to an athlete performing for short periods where strength and explosive performance counts. Most of the performance is in the machine really (which Honda would agree with!).

The principle is one thing (which I totally agree with) but the punishment severely outweighs the crime. Unlike WADA he probably cannot afford an appeal. I hope QMMF might support him in that, not claiming back any performance payments, and honouring his contract. Perhaps they can just shrug and say Inshallah.

The fact that riders who are quite tall need to starve themselves to death to be able to be half competitive seems to make energy supplements more important?
Perhaps a more realistic combined rider/machine weight in each class would help to remove the extreme diet regimes which some riders have to engage in to be considered competitive?

They did, this year. They, iirc, used some riders, Scott Redding etc to set baseline weights. They then created a minimum bike/rider combination that allowed heavier riders to not suffer the mass disadvantage. A lighter rider still gains from their smaller size and also the ability to position ballast more or less where they need to. So smaller, to a point will always win out.

Next year even the F1 drivers are going to have issues. It's rumoured that one driver might lose his ride simply because he will be too tall for the cockpit.

Yes but.... it still appears that the minimum weights are not based on reality, poor Scott Redding, amongst others, still looks as though he is struggling to maintain a weight which makes him competitive. This can only have a negative effect on strength, energy and endurance, not to mention safety!

not politics. The initial judgement seemed OK to me. He made a mistake (not deliberate or the punishment would have been a lot harsher). It wasn't a significant factor in his performance. He was punished. I am sure it will make him a lot more careful in the future.

This appeal is just about politics and I suspect the people pushing it are only interested in 'principles'. The spirit of fairness needs to carry more weight.

These people are athletes and some restrictions need to apply. However, the machine element needs to be factored in as well as the economic situation of the person and his team (QMMF might struggle here, if they are more than a truly 'private' team.....).

It does not have to be 'one rule for all' and Dorna perhaps needs to look at what support they give to the riders. I doubt that this would have happened were AW in a non-world championship and such series need to look at what they do when they run such series - if the WADA automatically get involved then someone should have done their risk assessments and asked what do struggling riders do in a series where expenses are high and wages perhaps zero.

In such situations all riders should be treated equally - whether you are Karel Abraham or Gino Rea. But only if their situation/access to support is equal too. The sport has to answer some questions here.

This case just goes to show that normal human beings can't be trusted to understand all the nonsense that is printed in the ingredients lists on products.
The punishments should go to the providers of the products and not the "innocent" consumer who doesn't know any better (and if you do, well good for you - most of us don't know and shouldn't go to college to understand something that should be clear to understand for everybody!)

Just like with tobacco products, if any sports-prohibited ingredients are used in a product, they should use a banner THIS-WILL-END-YOUR-CAREER, or YOU-WILL-BE-PUBLICLY-HUMILIATED or some sort of this.
Or only make these products available on prescription so you take out the possibility for people to make a mistake...

Poor Ant, I really feel for the guy. I know the rules, but it's been all blown way out of proportion. I (and likely a lot of other fans) just don't agree with these rules. Take out the bureaucracy and bring us back the sport!

One simple thing that would help sports people, and perhaps others, is to mark the ingredients that are banned/restricted under WADA, on an amber/red basis so that anyone buying a product knows what its risks are likely to be.
Perhaps WADA could spend their time on prevention rather than 'cure'?

No WADA logo or markings - buyer beware (i.e. don't).