30 April 2014 – The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued its decision in the appeal filed by the American motocross and supercross rider James Stewart Jr. against the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM). The rider’s 16-month suspension is confirmed.
In a decision issued by the FIM International Disciplinary Court (FIM IDC) on 12 December 2014, Mr Stewart Jr. was handed a 16-month suspension following a positive doping control for a banned stimulant, and was disqualified from four races in the Lucas Motor Oil Series in which he had participated while serving a provisional suspension from the FIM.
An arbitration procedure was conducted by a panel of CAS arbitrators: His Hon. James Robert Reid QC, UK (President), Mr Michele Bernasconi, Switzerland, and Prof. Ulrich Haas, Germany. The parties presented their cases at a hearing held at the CAS Court Office on 30 March 2015.
James Stewart Jr. sought the annulment of the FIM IDC decision, or at least a reduction in the period of ineligibility, as well as the reinstatement of the results obtained after the date of his positive test. He argued that his positive test was a ‘paperwork violation’ only as it stemmed from his failure to obtain a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) certificate for medication he was taking and that he had not sought at any time to cheat or gain unfair advantage. The FIM, on the other hand, defended its decision and demonstrated Mr Stewart’s obligation to abide by the FIM Anti-Doping Code.
Having reviewed the evidence, the CAS Panel agreed with the FIM IDC’s finding that the rider had committed an anti-doping rule infraction and confirmed its decision to impose a 16-month period of ineligibility on the rider. Accordingly, Mr James Stewart Jr. is ineligible for a period of 16 months beginning on 12 April 2014 and ending at midnight on 11 August 2015.
With respect to the four races in which Mr Stewart participated between 28 June and 19 July 2014, during his provisional suspension period, the CAS Panel modified the FIM IDC decision in stating that the disqualification of Mr Stewart from such races of the Lucas Motor Oil Series would have effect only so far as the FIM has jurisdiction, or so far as other authorities recognise the disqualifications. Accordingly, Mr Stewart’s request for the reinstatement of the results he obtained after the date of his positive test is referred back to the FIM for clarification.