Irish motocross athlete issued four-year ban

Ross Fanning was found to have committed an anti-doping violation

Irish motocross athlete issued four-year ban

Felipe Dana/AP/Press Association Images

An Irish amateur motocross athlete has been banned for four years for committing an anti-doping violation.

28-year-old Ross Fanning failed a drugs test after participating in a Motocross event on July 31st 2016. A urine sample he provided on that date, showed evidence of the prohibited substance, cocaine.

The doping offence was determined by the Irish Sport Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel ("the Panel") and takes effect from the date on which the test took place.

Fanning was formally charged in August 2016, and did not appeal the provisional suspension.  

Following a review conducted by Sport Ireland, it was revealed that no therapeutic use exemption was granted to Fanning.

Cocaine is listed as a stimulant on the World Anti Doping Agency's Prohibited List, but is prohibited in-competition only.

If Fanning could establish that the violation was not intentional - that it was taken out of competition and in a context unrelated to sport performance - the period of the suspension would have been two years. 

However, Fanning made no representations to Sport Ireland in his own defence, and did not engage with the process, attend the hearing or advance any mitigation to the Panel.

A joint statement from Motorcycling Ireland and Sport Ireland reads:

"In the absence of any evidence or submissions by or on behalf of Mr. Fanning and on the basis of the evidence submitted by Sport Ireland, the Panel finds that there was an [Anti-Doping Rule Violation] by Mr. Fanning. No evidence in mitigation has been advanced by or on Mr. Fanning's behalf. In all the circumstances, the Panel considers that the appropriate sanction is a period of ineligibility of 4 years…"