The International Motorcycling Federation has issued James Stewart a 16-month suspension following a positive drug test for amphetamine. The suspension is backdated to April 12 when Stewart tested positive for the prohibited substance at the AMA Supercross round in Seattle, which means he will be ineligible for competition until Aug. 11, 2015.
Stewart to argued his case before the Anand Sashidharan of the FIM’s International Disciplinary Court (CDI) on Oct. 23, explaining how amphetamines may have entered his system. The CDI accepted the explanation but ruled Stewart still violated the FIM’s Anti-Doping Code which states that “[i]t is each Rider’s personal duty to ensure that no Prohibited substance enters his or her body(…)”.
The CDI considered the circumstances including that this was Stewart’s first anti-doping violation before issuing the 16-month suspension. The Yoshimura Suzuki rider has three weeks to lodge an appeal but unless the suspension is overturned, Stewart will miss the entire 2015 AMA Supercross season and all but the final two rounds of the 2015 AMA Motocross season. Stewart will also be stripped of his results from the races he competed in following the positive test which includes four rounds of the 2014 Motocross championship and the final three rounds of the AMA Supercross championship.
The ruling comes eight months after the failed drug test occurred and six months after the results were made public. Under this ruling, Stewart is ineligible to compete in any event until August 11, 2015 – which would put him out of action for both the upcoming supercross season and the first ten rounds of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship.
The retroactive suspension would also affect results that he accrued last year, as outlined here: “The CDI ruled that Mr Stewart is disqualified from all competitions in which he participated (including the four rounds of the 2014 national Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Series) subsequent to the collection of the sample (12 April 2014) and all results he obtained in those competitions are cancelled with all the resulting consequences including forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes