Startline OnLine
Main Startline Menu
Main Monoposto Menu

Drugs in Motorsport

Are you clean?

The subtitle may sound as if it's aimed at a hippy-racer, or even a celebrity cook, but it could apply to some pillars of the community. The MSA are currently saying that they will do a random drug tests this year. It's a topic being taken seriously, as witnessed by the information on the licence application, so it's best to be aware of the issues.

It could be argued that the drugs being tested for come under 3 categories:

1) Recreational

One must assume that no Monoposto member would consider use of such drugs where they are illegal. As they can stay detectable for some considerable time, a test could prove the end of a driver's time in Mono, because if the MSA was lenient, certain members of the Board would not be. It should also be remembered that alcohol lingers.

2) Performance Enhancing

There are drugs which supposedly increase alertness (I once started to drop off in an assembly area...) and stamina. Blood doping, where blood is taken away and then, when the body has recovered and replaced the blood, is put back to increase the amount flowing is also illegal. Obviously, these can give an unfair advantage and more important are dangerous.

3) Prescription

This might be a surprise, but there are many prescription drugs which are illegal in sport due to their side effects (see 2 above). These include, I am told, many diuretics taken for blood pressure. There are procedures for applying for an exemption, though I have no idea whether these are ever given. It may perhaps be possible to ask the MSA, given sufficient time.

The above is vague - deliberately so as I have no medical training, no connection with the MSA, and no wish to mislead. I do, however, hope that anybody who thinks that for any reason they could test positive might want to find out a bit more. There are therefore a few links which I would urge are reviewed where relevant: The FIA's prohibited drugs list as provided by the World Anti Doping Agency Applying for an exemption The exemption application. The FIA's views on anti-doping including links to disciplinary reports, always an educational read.

Whatever you do - please don't do drugs.

Tony Cotton


Disclaimer: The above represents only the unofficial view of the writer and not of the Monoposto Racing Club in any way whatsover. Subheadlines and captions are not originated from the named author. We are unable to reproduce results due to copyright reasons. If any pictures are copyright and the owner wishes them removed please email us.



The FIA has a course on drugs which is quite entertaining. A certificate is produced when you pass.

Tomas Enge, Aston Martin / Lola driver, was a high profile visitor to the disciplinary committee of the FIA.

Syd Barrett of The Pink Floyd was a user of drugs, including LSD, and died in 2006. Drummer Nick Mason spent his money on old cars, and is still with us. And still has some nice cars, too.