PAUL BIRD IN TWO-YEAR MO­TOR­SPORT BAN

BTRDA driver tested pos­i­tive for banned sub­stances

Motor Sport News - - Rally News - By Jack Benyon Pho­tos: Mike Askew, Writ­tle Pho­to­graphic

BTRDA rally win­ner Paul Bird has been banned from all Msa-sanc­tioned com­pe­ti­tion af­ter test­ing pos­i­tive for co­caine and di­uret­ics af­ter the Nicky Grist Stages in July.

Bird – who won the NG Stages – was tested af­ter the event, and on Christ­mas Eve UK Anti Dop­ing (UKAD) con­firmed traces of ben­zoylec­go­nine (a me­tab­o­lite of co­caine) and furosemide (di­uretic) were found in the sam­ples taken af­ter the Builth Wells event. UKAD no­ti­fied Bird of the No­tice of Charge on July 31.

UKAD’S Di­rec­tor of Le­gal, Gra­ham Arthur said: “Ev­ery ath­lete must ad­here to the prin­ci­pal of strict li­a­bil­ity; they are solely re­spon­si­ble for what is in their sys­tem re­gard­less of how it got there.

“This prin­ci­pal can be chal­leng­ing for ath­letes but they must en­sure they take the ap­pro­pri­ate steps to man­age the risk at all times.”

A spokesper­son from the MSA added: “The Mo­tor Sports As­so­ci­a­tion ac­knowl­edges the find­ings of UK Anti-dop­ing re­gard­ing an Anti-dop­ing Rule Vi­o­la­tion by Paul Bird. The MSA thanks UKAD for its as­sis­tance in this mat­ter. As the gov­ern­ing body, the MSA op­er­ates an anti-dop­ing test­ing and education pro­gramme to help en­sure that four-wheel UK mo­tor sports are fair, equal and safe. It is each com­peti­tor’s own re­spon­si­bil­ity to en­sure that no sub­stance on the World Anti- Dop­ing Agency (WADA) Pro­hib­ited List (in­clud­ing those con­tained in some over-the­counter medicines) en­ters their body, willingly or oth­er­wise.

“By sign­ing the dec­la­ra­tion for an MSA Com­pe­ti­tion Li­cence, com­peti­tors agree to abide by anti-dop­ing pro­to­cols. This dec­la­ra­tion ref­er­ences the anti-dop­ing reg­u­la­tions in the MSA Year­book, which is sent to all com­peti­tors with their Com­pe­ti­tion Li­cence. The MSA also has an anti-dop­ing app avail­able, and has pub­li­cised var­i­ous anti-dop­ing ac­tiv­i­ties via the MSA an­nual re­port, mag­a­zine and news­let­ter over re­cent years.”

Bird didn’t com­pete in any BTRDA events af­ter the Nicky Grist Stages. He had been se­cond in the cham­pi­onship at that point. He missed out on the cham­pi­onship to Steve Perez in 2014 also.

MN un­der­stands that un­less the MSA refers the mat­ter to the na­tional court, Bird will not lose the NG Stages vic­tory as re­sults are de­clared fi­nal.

Bird won the Nicky Grist Stages

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