The AMA Comes to James Stewart's Defense 79

In the Vital MX Forums, many of our users have expressed dissatisfaction at the way the FIM has handled James Stewart's case regarding his failed drug test. Apparently they're not alone. We received a copy of the following letter from the President and CEO of the AMA, Rob Dingman; to the President of the FIM, Vito Ippolito, from an anonymous source. We've since confirmed that it's authentic.

Take a look for yourself.

The AMA Comes to James Stewart's Defense

The AMA Comes to James Stewart's Defense

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79 comments
  • Mit12

    1/1/2015 10:44 AM

    GearHd, so we should not have rules? All the other riders that needed a TUE got one. Do some reasearch. The penality is harsh, may be way to much? We all need to remember that is Stewarts fault period. Cant wait for the gate drop at A1. As for the AMA they have always folded when it comes to rules violations.

  • GearHd04M3

    1/1/2015 1:14 AM

    Sorry Mit, I appreciate your intent to take the high road but your arguments are wrong and verifiably so by fact. One of this countries larger issues is that positions, groups, and bodies of power and influence are not held accountable which is vastly different than individuals not being responsible. Sticking to Stewart's specific situation, everyone should be outraged by this politically driven idiocy. An individual taking medication prescribed by a medical professional (this means that it is in the best interest of the individuals health) should never be influenced to do otherwise by any 'sports' governing body nor should these governing bodies be able to take any adverse action against a person following this advice. We also need to remember that although motocross is a sport, professional supercross/motocross racing is an entertainment business with the sport only being one component to consider as alluded to in the AMA's letter to the FIM (F#@king Idiots of Motorcycling ). What's amazing is how concerned everyone is with Stewart possibly gaining an advantage by taking this medicine but nobody seems to give sh*! about the advantages many riders have that are not prescribed by a medical professional. If everyone is so concerned about a level playing field then lets make sure every rider has access to the same resources in terms of equipment, trainers, nutrition, supplements, and access to training equipment and tracks. For everyone who says that a rule was broken and James should be punished regardless of intent needs to realize that rules/laws exist to serve people not the other way around. The entire sport is being punished for an FIM technicality; that he was following medical advisement for his health seals this as a fact regardless of how many examples people want to parade out there of people abusing a substance.

    I've never been a fan of Stewart as a rider mainly because I had other riders I did like and I knew in my gut that Stewart on any given day could beat my riders. I have had to watch Stewart his entire career and have never given him the benefit of the doubt on anything, but I would be lying to say he hasn't been a sincere and classy individual that I am glad and proud of him being a part of our sport. James should be racing this weekend and it is a loss for our struggling sport that could have been avoided.

  • Mit12

    12/30/2014 11:00 AM

    Mike,
    I hope your comment is an attempt to be funny?
    The biggest problem we have in this country is people not taking responsibility for their actions. The rules clearly state that it is the riders/athletes responsibility. Stewart needs to take responsibility for this and not stand behind his celeberty status in the sport. If this sport loses any money because of this it falls directly on the shoulders of Stewart.

  • mike.sullivan

    12/30/2014 10:25 AM

    Stewart didn't make the mistake, his team did. His job is to train and race. Period. He has a team around him to handle paperwork. They failed him, but James is a class act and you won't hear him throw the responsible party under the bus where they belong. That single dumb mistake not only costs Stewart and Suzuki two championship runs, it costs the Supercross series money. If his absence causes just 5% fewer fans to show up at the races, and that may be conservative, the real dollar cost to the series on ticket sales alone will easily be more than $1 million - average ticket $30 X 800,000 annual fans - 5%.

  • Mit12

    12/26/2014 10:47 PM

    I am a Stewart fan but I am so tired of all this defending of James Stewart. Stewart fu..ed up and he has to pay for his actions, unfortunately so will the fans, promoters, sponsers, the AMA, the FIM, WADA and the entire MX industry. Is Mr. Stewart apologizing for his actions? NO! Why should he when it is clearly the FIM and WADAs fault that he broke the rules? The industry and most fans are blaming the gun (WADA and the FIM) for the murder, not the person that shot the gun (Stewart). There is no one to blame for this but Mr. Stewart him self. Mr. Stewart stop hiding behind your popularity and have some respect for the fans, the sport and start apologizing for your actions and take your punishment like a man.

  • GearHd04M3

    1/1/2015 5:38 AM

    How about gun = disciplinary process, bullet = suspension, triggerman = FIM, decision maker in pulling the trigger = FIM, decision maker in choosing the bullet size = FIM, decision maker in pulling the trigger = FIM

    Gee Mr Stewart the law says your not allowed to J walk, better get out the sawed off shotgun.... BAM!!!! Gee Mr Sponsor (of all the riders and series), and Mr TV network showing the series, and Mr org strategist trying to make our sport more mainstream so fans don't have to discuss the list of world class riders that don't have support every year, and of course Mr fan that supports the sport by buying tickets (expecting to see Stewart amongst others) you people shouldn't have been so close to Mr Stewart when we shot him with the sawed off... Didn't mean to hit you ( actually we didn't think about it and wouldn't give a sh!$ if we had) but you should have expected it given the offense of J walking and all the obvious victims!

    If it was as automatic as you suggest in Stewart pulling the trigger then what is the FIM needed for in the process? Oh that's right! Laws, rules, and policies are never a one size fits all and discretion and leadership are required, exactly what the AMA points out was lacking in there letter to the FIM.

  • Hammer111

    12/23/2014 2:47 PM

    I wonder if adderall would help me with the ladies. I was going to say something else but I forgot what was. If I only had something to help me focus and concentrate better.

  • coastalrider

    12/22/2014 6:53 PM

    My take with the "cheating:" is if he took something that would never be approved for performance gain then I would call out loud it's cheating. Why would it be necessary to "cheat" if you're prescribed and it can be approved? Having likely fifteen "managers" around you telling you to "keep your focus on riding" and somebody dropped the paperwork ball then I continue to have a hard time with the penalty for the crime. Not everyone got tested, so it's not unlikely others have been taking something, especially if they're desperate in making a career or even a main. Others filled out paperwork for certain things because they delegated that to the right person and it got done. Somebody definitely missed an important paper signing.

    AGAIN, IF this was a drug that couldn't have been approved, then suspend them accordingly for cheating.

    I listened to the podcast and while there were some good points beyond the frustrating interruptions, I understand the non-partiality to WADA, thankfully, but a big point has to be made that too many are fixed on. It was said by a doctor regarding the drug Adderall, it gives you better focus, faster response time, better recovery, etc. FOR THE RECORD: RED BULL does the same thing for me when I play HOCKEY!!! I can drink one and a half cans 30min before a game and be BETTER FOCUSED, I HAVE BETTER CONTROL OF MY GAME, I'M SMOOTHER, LESS MISTAKES, EVERYTHING seems better. I can play THREE high paced A games back to back when 85% can barely make it through one. My recovery rate is much faster and my attention is better.........SO DOES "REDBULL" need to be cheating and banned as well???? If I don't take one before, I see an immediate and overall difference. Several things can give people similar results (better focus, recovery, etc). Alka-Seltzer Orange can do the same thing. People hear what they want to hear about effects of some drugs. NOW...I'm sure cocaine, ecstasy, a hit of smoke, or any abuse of any certain medication might give similar but overwhelming effects that need to be considered cheating or abuse. If you're approved and your tests come back in-excessive, then focus on the penalty and respond accordingly.

    I'm looking forward to any changes in the verdict but not expecting any. I even wish it was possible for him to tell FIM he don't need the money, the points, etc as they require this year, and he's racing for "fun" and go out and win a few.....and tell FIM on the podium he's been drinking REDBULL and MONSTER for performance gains and to thank the 'funny [ ] ignorant morons" for helping him make sure to fill out all required paperwork.

    .....Even if this was Barcia, because I wouldn't help him out of quicksand for several reasons.......I'd still feel the same way about the decision. This isn't about a certain rider! It's gone political.

  • Kawboy593

    12/22/2014 4:59 PM

    Riders like Carmichael and Stewart have an advantage over the competition and it certainly is not drug related. Adderall will never turn someone into a great rider like James Stewart. Besides for being truly gifted, they have trained for years by the best in the business and hate to lose. They will not accept anything but winning. James may have broken a rule, but it certainly does NOT warrant the punishment handed down. This needs to be fixed soon.

  • joedirt

    12/22/2014 3:56 PM

    From wikipedia
    Adderall
    Performance enhancing
    Therapeutic doses of amphetamine improve cortical network efficiency, resulting in higher performance on working memory tests in all individuals.[11][40] Amphetamine and other ADHD stimulants also improve task saliency (motivation to perform a task) and increase arousal (wakefulness), in turn promoting goal-directed behavior.[11][41][42] Stimulants such as amphetamine can improve performance on difficult and boring tasks[11][41] and are used by some students as a study and test-taking aid.[43] Based upon studies of self-reported illicit stimulant use, students primarily use stimulants such as amphetamine for performance enhancement rather than abusing them as recreational drugs.[44] However, high amphetamine doses that are above the therapeutic range can interfere with working memory and cognitive control.[11][41]

    Amphetamine is used by some athletes for its psychological and performance-enhancing effects, such as increased stamina and alertness;[45][15] however, its use is prohibited at sporting events regulated by collegiate, national, and international anti-doping agencies.[46][47] In healthy people at oral therapeutic doses, amphetamine has been shown to increase physical strength, acceleration, stamina, and endurance, while reducing reaction time.[45][48][49] Amphetamine improves stamina, endurance, and reaction time primarily through reuptake inhibition and effluxion of dopamine in the central nervous system.[48][49][50] At therapeutic doses, the adverse effects of amphetamine do not impede athletic performance;[45][48][49] however, at much higher doses, amphetamine can induce effects that severely impair performance, such as rapid muscle breakdown and elevated body temperature.[9][10][48]

    Adderall has been banned in the National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (ML, National Basketball Association (NBA), and the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA).[51] In leagues such as the NFL, there is a very rigorous process required to obtain an exemption to this rule even when the athlete has been medically prescribed the drug by his physician.[51]

  • Hammer111

    12/22/2014 3:42 PM

    Joe dirt . No where in your story did you say that Ruiz was prescribed adderall. James was and is now cleared to take it. Also going by your comments you could take adderall and become a ama champion. Furthermore James never won a title while taking the drug. In fact he crashed a number of times. Rockzen didn't take and won a title.

  • uk125250

    12/22/2014 12:35 PM

    Vito Ippoloto. Cool name.

  • coastalrider

    12/22/2014 7:06 PM

    It should be spelled "VETO."

  • joedirt

    12/21/2014 3:19 PM

    Seem like the stuff is a PED

    Although it might not sound like a big deal, Ruiz being allowed to take Adderall could turn out to be huge.

    In the season before his suspension, Ruiz batted .325 while hitting 16 home runs and knocking in 68 runs -- all career highs for the catcher. After being suspended, and not being able to take Adderall, Ruiz performance clearly suffered. In a career-low 92 games, Ruiz hit just five home runs to go along with 37 RBIs and a .268 hitting average.

    Although the drop in performance can't be directly tied to Ruiz being unable to take Adderall, the Phillies might want to hope it played a big part -- because they could certainly use a bounce back year from the catcher.

  • Hammer111

    12/21/2014 9:59 AM

    Just void the contract with the fim, Wada, and everybody else. Ergo the penalty in null and void. Nothing was done right, so what makes the penalty correct

  • Old-Man

    12/20/2014 8:32 PM

    This letter is a joke to haplessly defend one of the best MX riders that brings in big bucks for the AMA. They need to make a statement physically rather than fontly

  • lap768

    12/19/2014 11:34 PM

    I take it James had been taking the prescribed medication [ adderall ]. Long before drug test where required, commonly prescribed to kids in first @ second grade,,??

    At best he could be guilty. Of not reporting his personal medication list,, and being the age of the. Internet, any pharmacy technician can access and individuals records, currently. Prescribed meds. You'd think the FIM would have investigated. James medical, meds background. History before ruling a penalty clearly unjustified. And how do they affect his outdoor,nationals eligibility?
    Or in reality do we really need the FIM affecting. US events, does AMA rule on such high importance. Decisions affecting FIM events? I would think they're. benefiting much more off us, need us more than we benefit from them, or need their. Input in our events.

    Its wrong to put a rider with the skills of James on the side lines for such third grade, got their. Panties in a was, unjustified punishment. His infraction, merely a paperwork error. Or on a different view, force him to compete with implied handycap, allow him to compete on a 2-stroke? That would add excitement. And flare. To events, clearly. Suzuki. Would need some rule exceptions to prepare a 7-8 year old bike that hasn't. Been developed and sold to the public. [ yet, anyway ] maybe a 300-325cc displacement. James could bring the 2-stroke back in the way Henry did the 4-strokes.

    BRAAP,,,,,,,,

  • jamma10

    12/22/2014 3:26 AM

    He had only been presribed Adderall since 2012. Investigating James past medical history is probably precisely why it took so long to reach a judgement. That and the fact that his TUE for future competition was not officially approved until October.

  • tailgunn

    12/19/2014 1:25 PM

    I don't really have a dog in this fight, but 16 months is ridiculous. European sports & race-governing bodies of all kinds have historically been the bureaucratic equivalent of beached whales, and they generally cast a dim eye towards Americans. Ditch the FIM.

  • ChrisB10

    12/19/2014 9:02 AM

    My opinion has changed quite a bit since the decision came out.

    At first I was like this is all on James. It was HIS fault for not providing the proper paperwork. It's not like he forgot his wallet at home on the way to buy groceries, this is serious sh*t. As JT$ said riders even have to sign acknowledging a TUE is needed so he knew!

    I still feel that way but now I'm kind of disgusted with FIM/ WADA. As Matthes was saying, by taking this long to reach a decision, you fck over the entire team and manufactuer who've been spending $ on SX testing.

    Also, James had a prescription which leads me to believe it was more just a paperwork accident and less of a guy deliberately cheating. Whether or not he had an Rx is debatable. I wouldnt be surprused if Suzuki was able to get a doctor to cover their asses and write them one AFTER THE FACT that was back dated. Still he "has" a script and even got a TUE so 16 months is ridiculous. It's not like he was blood doping.

    Kudos to AMA but you have to wonder if AMA is more concerned about James or the $ from ticket sales generated by James lining up for outdoors. Anywho, as James said, he's not done. Good. I think this year helps him. He's been racing since age 4. Let his body and mind heal and come back strong for 2016.

  • wfo250

    12/19/2014 6:24 AM

    I appreciate AMA's Rob Dingman for standing up for
    James. They should have been involved earlier than later tho.

  • jhn145

    12/18/2014 9:56 PM

    When posting about the @js7 situation can I recommend the #NoSX4StewartNoSX4Me #BOYCOTT_A1

  • GuyB

    12/18/2014 9:59 PM

    I suggest #itsabummerjamesisntracing and #youllmissoutongoodstuffifyoudontgo

  • Kawboy593

    12/18/2014 6:16 PM

    The punishment does not equal the offense. I am happy to see the AMA supporting one of it's riders after what is an obviously bad ruling by the FIM.

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