Pubdate: Thu, 12 Apr 2001
Source: West Australian (Australia)
Copyright: 2001 West Australian Newspapers Limited
Author: Liz Tickner


TWO sprintcar drivers fighting misconduct charges after drug tests at the 
Kwinana Motorplex in February will not race in tomorrow night's WA titles.

State champion Ryan Farrell and South-West driver Grant Bevan had been 
scheduled to compete in the open sprintcar titles in Bunbury. But Bunbury 
speedway promoter Des Ferris confirmed late yesterday that they would not 
be allowed to compete until their appeals against misconduct charges were 

Sprintcar Association of WA president Geoff Murphy said yesterday that 
Farrell and Bevan had not raced at Kwinana last Friday night.

He said negative drug tests had been a prerequisite to them racing but 
declined to elaborate.

It was reported in The West Australian last week that Western Diagnostic 
Pathology carried out drug-testing at the Motorplex before a major race on 
February 16.

According to the minutes of an association management committee meeting, 
Bevan tested positive to cannabis.

The minutes also stated: "Ryan Farrell after three attempts did incomplete 
tests on 16/2 - did not contain human urine ex Western Diagnostic."

The onus is on the person being tested to produce a correct urine sample.

Farrell and Bevan were later charged with misconduct for behaviour 
unbecoming to the sport of sprintcar racing.

It is understood both drivers turned up at the Motorplex last Friday 
expecting to race.

Farrell, who last week denied taking drugs, did not return calls from The 
West Australian yesterday. Bevan could not be contacted.

Mr Murphy said the association had chosen a Perth solicitor with sports 
experience to chair the tribunal that would hear the appeals. A hearing 
date had not been set.

Other drivers are expressing concern about racing with competitors under 
the influence of prohibited substances.

Manjimup sprintcar driver Terry Cutts has written to the association 
questioning the legalities if a competitor was involved in a crash with 
another competitor who was on drugs.

Cutts also questioned who would be responsible if a spectator was hurt as a 
result of an accident involving a driver on drugs.

"Motor racing is a high-risk sport at the best of times, without any of the 
drivers being affected by drugs," Cutts said.

Motor racing was just starting to catch up with other sports, such as 
athletics and swimming, which had been carrying out random drug testing for 

Australia was becoming an increasingly litigious society and it was 
important that issues such as liability be resolved.

"Drugs need to be stamped out of all sports," he said.
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