Breaking: James Stewart appeal denied!
Yoshimura Suzuki learned Monday that the FIM appeal by James Stewart that might have allowed him to begin racing the upcoming 2015 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship has been denied. Instead the suspension will remain in place until August 11, 2015. Stewart says he will now focus on his return to competition.
As they have through the entire process, Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing will continue to support Stewart and look forward to his return to competition.
Yoshimura Suzuki team manager Mike Webb said the appeal process has been frustrating and costly. There were several delays requested by the FIM throughout the appeal process.
“It was an incredibly frustrating process and disappointing decision, but we’ll have James on board with the team for 2016 and beyond and we look forward to his return. We have a few warm-up events later this year and then we’ll be back in full force for the 2016 Supercross season.”
Even though it’s been a trying time, not only for the delays, but also for not knowing the outcome of his appeal, Stewart said at least he can now look forward to putting this behind him and is looking forward to racing again.
“It’s extremely disappointing that my appeal was denied,” Stewart said. “But I’m glad this is over and now I can turn my full attention back to preparing for the few events I’ll be competition in this year and coming back strong for 2016.
“I thank Yoshimura Suzuki, my sponsors and all the fans who have given me a ton of support through all of this. The one thing this time off has done is made me realize how much I miss racing, so it’s going to be a great day for me when I get to see that gate drop again.”
Stewart plans to defend his Red Bull Straight Rhythm title later this year and is also slated to contest the Monster Energy Cup in October.
The FIM released the following statement:
In the dispute James Stewart, Jr. vs Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM), the FIM has been advised by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) that the Panel appointed to hear the appeal filed by Mr James Stewart, Jr. against the decision of the FIM International Disciplinary Court (CDI) in first instance of 12 December 2014 has confirmed the 16 (sixteen) month period of ineligibility imposed on Mr James Stewart, Jr., commencing on 12 April 2014.
The Hearing was held at the CAS headquarters in Lausanne (Switzerland) on 30 March 2015 in presence of the parties. The FIM was defended and represented by its Legal Director, Mr Richard Perret.
On 12 April 2014, Mr James Stewart, Jr. underwent an anti-doping test conducted by the FIM at the round of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, held at the Century Link Field, Seattle, Washington. The urine sample obtained from Mr Stewart revealed the presence of a prohibited substance (amphetamine) listed in the category S6. Stimulant under a) Non-specified Stimulants and prohibited in competition under the FIM Anti-doping Code (CAD) in force. At the moment of the test, Mr Stewart was not in a possession of any Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) for that substance.
On 17 June 2014, in accordance with Article 7.6.1 CAD, the FIM provisionally suspended Mr Stewart with effect from 20 June pending the CDI’s decision adjudicating on the merits of the case. Mr Anand Sashidharan of India was appointed by the Director of the International Commission of Judges (CJI) as CDI Single Judge to hear the case. Mr Stewart was heard by the CDI during a Hearing near Mies (Switzerland) on 23 October 2014.
On the merits, the CAS Panel found, as did the CDI, that Mr Stewart had indisputably committed an anti-doping rule violation under the CAD. Considering all the circumstances and all the evidence adduced, having regard to Mr Stewart’s degree of fault, the CAS Panel came to the conclusion that the period of ineligibility of 16 (sixteen) months imposed by the CDI was a fair and appropriate sanction.
The CAS Panel, while noting that Mr James Stewart, Jr. “did not take any precautions whatsoever” to avoid the anti-doping rule violation, described the attitude of Mr James Stewart, Jr. towards the FIM Anti-doping Code (CAD) as being “one of reckless disregard”.
The CAS Panel stressed that the sanction imposed by the CDI Single Judge was determined “after a rigorous examination of all material before it” and that the CDI handed down a “closely reasoned decision”.
The CAS Panel has not recognised any inordinate delays in the proceedings whether in the first instance before the CDI or in second instance before the CAS.
The CAS Panel also upheld the FIM CDI’s decision with respect to the disqualifications imposed on Mr. Stewart. However, with respect to the disqualifications of Mr James Stewart, Jr from the four rounds of the 2014 national Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Series in which he participated while provisionally suspended, the CAS Panel held that, while these “stand”, they have effect only so far as the FIM has jurisdiction or as so far as other authorities recognise these disqualifications.
The period of ineligibility of 16 (sixteen) months imposed on Mr. James Stewart will end on 11 August 2015 at midnight.
The FIM will publish the CAS Award on its website in due time.