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FIM responds to Ant West’s ‘corruption’ broadside

Daniel Herrero

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Tuesday 28th January, 2020 - 2:30pm

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Ant West pic: Anthony West Facebook

The FIM has indicated that it will not take action over Ant West’s accusations of corruption in a social media broadside in which he also accused Marc Marquez of cheating.

West recently took to Facebook in response to correspondence from the governing body, signed by CEO Tony Skillington and President Jorge Viegas, regarding possible breaches of his drug ban.

The Australian was provisionally suspended in September 2018 after failing a drug test earlier that year, during which he was competing in the Supersport World Championship.

In the following January, the FIM’s International Disciplinary Court (CDI) handed down a “period of ineligibility” which ends on September 14, this year.

West proceeded to enter the non-FIM sanctioned SuperBike Brasil series last year, collecting a win and two further podiums from the first three races of the season.

In June, however, West declared on his Facebook page that “You will never see me on another motorcycle again in my life”, and claimed that the “FIM have pushed to make me lose my ride with Kawasaki here (in) Brazil”.

He nevertheless appeared at the following round in July, on a largely unsponsored bike, with social media posts suggesting West was supporting himself by driving trucks in North America.

A post from a week prior to Round 4 explained that, “When I found out FIM contacted Kawasaki Japan to get my sponsorship pulled so I could not race in Brazil I really was fed up with this sport.

“But it’s been a few weeks now and it’s eating at me inside to let the FIM win. So I’m doing this next race 100% purely to stick up it the FIM (sic). because I know they will hate to see me ride a motorcycle again.”

West finished second in that race but did not contest the last five rounds of the nine-round season, ostensibly due to lack of budget, and returned to Australia midway through 2019.

On January 25 of this year, West posted a three-page letter from the FIM, dated the day prior, with the subject of “Notice of potential violations of the prohibition of participation during ineligibility – Art. 10.12.3 (FIM Anti-Doping Code)”.

It advises that West’s participation in SuperBike Brasil, among other racing activities, has been referred to the CDI, which will consider whether to extend West’s period of ineligibility.

Among the articles which the letter draws attention to are one which states:

No Rider or other Person who has been declared Ineligible may, during the period of Ineligibility, participate in any capacity in a Competition or activity (other than authorized anti-doping education or rehabilitation programs) authorized or organized by any Signatory, Signatory’s member organization, or a club or other member organization of a Signatory’s member organization, or in Competitions authorized or organized by any professional league or any international or national level Event organization or any elite or national-level sporting activity funded by a governmental agency.

The letter concludes: “In the meantime, we urge you to stop being present at any circuit and stop competing, training, etc. as you are banned from any activity in any sport.”

West reproduced the letter on Facebook in a post in which he stated, in part: “I quit. I’m done.

“These corrupt people are out of control and out to destroy me.

“I raced in Brazil a championship That was a NOT FIM affiliated. Now they invent there own rules like they have control over me racing there.”

In the same post, West also made an accusation of cheating against Marquez and implied that Rossi had been afforded special advantages in past seasons by a party not clearly specified (Speedcafe.com does not make any comment as to the veracity of the claims).

Speaking to Spanish sports newspaper Marca, FIM President Viegas said, “The Anthony West issue has been going on for too long … unfortunately.

“He was a great rider who did not take the best roads.

“Right now there are too many problems to react to such a desperate text.”

Viegas further asserted that, “Everything that FIM has done is in accordance with the agreements we have with WADA.”

He also described SuperBike Brasil as “pirate races”.

West was also issued a retroactive 18-month ban which saw him officially stripped of two Moto2 runner-up finishes after testing positive for the stimulant methylhexanamine in 2012.

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