MXA’S AMA RULE OF THE WEEK: YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT

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This rule is the same in both AMA Supercross and the AMA Nationals and while there is a lot more to the rules and regulations of what you can and can’t ingest, the basic premises of this rule is that it is the “rider’s responsibility” to read and understand all the aspects of the FIM’s anti-doping code. This not limited to reading the “Prohibited Substance List,” but also to researching the contents of any additives, cough medicine or energy drinks that a rider may be using. If your doctor prescribes you  something that might be on the prohibited list, you have the right to apply for an exemption from the anti-doping rules, by asking for a TUE (Therapeutic Use Exemption). This exemption allows you to use the much needed medicine without incurring any penalty, but it must be applied for and approved before you can legally race with that drug in your system.

In the James Stewart case, he did not read or understand all the aspects of the anti-doping code, nor did he apply for a TUE for the drug he claimed the had been taking for years under doctor’s orders. Additionally, when asked if he was taking any banned substances on the day of his failed drug test, he told the WADA technicians “No.” It is obvious that James Stewart should have been well aware of AMA/USADA/WADAFIM drug testing, having been drug tested before, so it was a little shocking that he was so oblivious to the rules of the road. When his drug test came back positive for amphetamines, he didn’t have a leg to stand on in his own defense. His 18-month suspension seemed harsh to the fledgling sport of motocross, but was in line with the world-wide penalties handed down to athletes in other sports.

The third part of this rule requires the rider to sign a form stating that they understand the anti-drug rules. This is best known as the “Ignorance of the law is no excuse” clause. Although drug testing is only done sporadically in American motocross, there were five separated Supercross races in 2016 where WADA conducted tests — all of the riders tested passed with flying colors.

FIMJAMES STEWARTmotocrossmxa's ama rule of the weekSUPERCROSSUSADAwada