The International Motorcycling Federation has suspended Moto2 racer Anthony West for testing positive for methylhexaneamine, substance considered a stimulant and prohibited under the FIM’s anti-doping code.
West will be ineligible for competition organized by the FIM or its affiliated federations for a month, starting from Oct. 30, effectively ruling him out of the Moto2 season finale Nov. 11 at Valencia. West, who races for the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation team, still has the right to lodge an appeal before Nov. 3.
Methylhexaneamine, also known as 1,3-dimethylamylamine or DMAA, was originally developed as a nasal decongestant but more recently has been commonly used as a dietary supplement. Since Aug. 1, methylhexaneamine has been banned in Australia, West’s native country. The positive test however occurred on May 20 during the MotoGP round at Le Mans, and as a result, the FIM has also stripped West of his seventh-place finish at the French Grand Prix Moto2 race.
Which brings up the question the timing for the FIM to announce West’s positive test. The FIM tests competitors across its various racing disciplines some time during the season. Typically, only a handful of racers are selected for testing. The FIM issues press releases anywhere from a month to several months after the tests are conducted. A five-month delay is a long time, but not unusually so.
The odd thing is the FIM issued a press release on July 10 about the Le Mans test, saying MotoGP-class racers Jorge Lorenzo, James Ellison and Mattia Pasini, Moto2 racers Claudio Corti and Scott Redding, and Moto3 racers Niccolo Antonelli, Alex Rins and Louis Rossi were tested and all tested negative for any prohibited substances. West was not mentioned as being one of the riders tested.
The announcement of the positive test comes on the heels of back-to-back second-place finishes for West, including most recently at his home race at Phillip Island. Unless West appeals his suspension, he will miss just the season finale at Valencia. The disqualification from Le Mans subtracts 9 championship points from West’s record, taking him from 61 points to 52 points and dropping him from 14th overall to 16th where he will likely finish as he still holds a 12-point advantage over 17th place Toni Elias.
Yes, suspending West for 30 days and stripping championship points is a substantial punishment on paper, but levying the punishment now with the season nearly over softens the impact.