A press release started doing the rounds last night (December 16, 2014) that reports on James Stewart’s anti-doping violation. In the press release Yoshimura Suzuki Racing states that Bubba has received notification from the FIM with a penalty regarding his anti-doping violation, although Dirt Bike Rider has not received confirmation from the FIM at this time.
The news comes eight months from the Seattle Supercross event where Stewart was tested and later found positive for amphetamines.
The punishment for Stewart will severely impact all of the 2015 season both for James and the Yoshimura Suzuki team.
It sounds like Suzuki Motor of America and Yoshimura Racing will continue their unwavering support for Stewart during this difficult period and like all the fans hope to see him line up at the gate as soon as his ineligibility is lifted.
“I’m extremely disappointed to say the least,” said Stewart. “We plan to appeal as I personally feel that the punishment far outweighs the situation; especially since I received both WADA and USADA approvals that prove I’m not cheating. I’m bummed for everyone involved: my family, my team, my sponsors, the promoters and most of all the fans.”
Stewart added: “Unfortunately, I’ve had to be very quiet in regards to this situation but I’ll be telling the full story in the next couple weeks so everyone can understand what we’ve been going through. Thank you all for your continued support.”
Although Supercross fans will miss out on watching Bubba on track they may still get to see him around the pits with the announcement that he plans to be at the season-opening round of the 2015 AMA Supercross Championships on Saturday, January 3 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim to support his team, team-mate, sponsors and fans.
Update: FIM Press Release
On 12 April 2014, Mr James Stewart, Jr. underwent an anti-doping test conducted by the FIM at the round of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, held at the Century Link Field, Seattle, Washington. The urine sample obtained from Mr Stewart revealed the presence of a prohibited substance (amphetamine) listed in the category S6. Stimulant under a) Non-specified Stimulants and prohibited in competition under the FIM Anti-doping Code (CAD) in force.
On 17 June, in accordance with Article 7.6.1 CAD, the FIM provisionally suspended Mr Stewart with effect from 20 June pending the CDI’s decision adjudicating on the merits of the case. Since then, Mr Stewart has been provisionally barred from participating in any competition. The case was referred to CDI and Mr Anand Sashidharan of India was appointed by the Director of the International Commission of Judges (CJI) as CDI Single Judge to hear the case.
In consideration of Article 8.1.1 CAD and Article 3.3.2 of the FIM Disciplinary and Arbitration Code, Mr Stewart was heard by the CDI during a Hearing at the Best Western Hotel at Chavannes-de-Bogis, Switzerland, on 23 October 2014.
The CDI has now issued its decision. On the merits, the CDI found that it was undisputable that Mr Stewart had committed an anti-doping rule violation under Article 2.1 CAD which states in particular that “[i]t is each Rider’s personal duty to ensure that no Prohibited substance enters his or her body(…)”. The CDI further found that this was the first anti-doping rule violation recognised against Mr Stewart.
Taking into consideration all the evidence adduced, the CDI considered that, on the balance of probabilities, Mr Stewart had established how the prohibited substance had entered his body.
Accordingly, the Judge was able to apply Article 10.5.2 of the CAD. Considering all the circumstances and having regard to Mr Stewart’s degree of fault and negligence, the CDI Single Judge came to the conclusion that the appropriate sanction to be imposed on Mr Stewart was a period of ineligibility of 16 (sixteen) months. The CDI further ruled that the period of ineligibility would commence on 12 April 2014 (date of the collection of the sample). Consequently, the period of ineligibility imposed on Mr. James Stewart will end on 11 August 2015 at midnight.
In accordance with Article 10.8 of the CAD, 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. The FIM will therefore modify the rankings of the 2014 Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, accordingly.
An appeal against the decision of the CDI may be lodged by the parties before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne (Switzerland) within 21 days of the date of receipt of the CDI decision pursuant to Article 13.6 of the 2014 FIM Anti-Doping Code.
The full reasoned decision was notified to Mr Stewart on 12 December 2014 and will be published on the FIM website in due course.