Following Yoshimura Suzuki’s statement regarding the suspension levied on James Stewart for testing positive for an illegal substance earlier this year, the FIM issued its own release on the matter. In it, it states that Stewart has been suspended from racing for 16 months, beginning in April of 2014 when his urine sample was taken following the Seattle Supercross. This means that he will be eligible to race again after August 11, well into the Lucas Oil AMA Motocross Championship. He would miss all but the last two rounds in Utah and Indiana.
In addition, all points he earned while racing after the Seattle Supercross, will be stripped with the series standings in Supercross and motocross adjusted accordingly.
The FIM release is as follows:
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.