Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Drug Testing the Racers

A sad revelation came about this week with the very rare news of a race driver being banned for doping. To make matters worse it occured to an Irishman engaged in a sport which is steadily improving in Ireland. John Reilly was banned for 2 years after testing positive for boldenone at Mondello Race Track this September subject to his right to appeal. Details available are thin so it is important that the incident is put in context. Was it intentional or was it accidentally taken via a prescribed medicine? The real question in all this however; is how it hasn't happened more often in the general sporting world. Relative to athletics or cycling those competing in Motorsport are not subject to much drug test at all. One would assume that the lack of testing in all sport in general would mean that there is very little way we would find out if somebody were consuming a banned substance. The other question is what kind of advantage would doping truly give to a race driver? Physical endurance is an element of motorsport but it is guile, an eye for detail and racecraft that plays a far more critical role. This leads one to assume that the little known John Reilly was either misinformed or foolish. Either way he has been unfortunate enough to become an example to every other competing racer in the country of what not to do.

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