Friday’s announcement from MX Sports - the promoters of the AMA Pro Motocross Championship - that they’d contracted with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to implement an anti-doping program in accordance with the World Anti-Doping Code for the 2014 series caused a bit of a stir. But it really shouldn’t have. In this day and age, if you don’t have an anti-doping program in place, you’re not thought of as being a real sport.

And we all know that with the amount of physical strength and endurance it takes to race a motorcycle around a motocross track for 35 minutes, twice a day, motocross is most definitely a real sport.

Here’s hoping that we differ a bit from those other real sports in that we don’t have any positive test results.

When news broke last week that riders in the Pro Motocross Championship will be tested in at least two events in the 12-round series (the three riders on the podium in both classes will be subject to both blood and urine analysis in a minimum of two events – at USADA’s discretion), the debate started. Dude, how could marijuana or other drugs help you race a motorcycle faster?

Whoa… for starters, this isn’t about the use of recreational drugs. The doping that USADA tests for is of the performance-enhancing variety. Think more along the lines of baseball and cycling, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Lance Armstrong etc. and less of second-hand, hippie-lettuce smoke at a reggae concert. Also think more of what enhances your ability to recover – whether that be from the first moto or the training you did all week long.

Think Anabolic Androgenic Steroids, prescription testosterone creams (such as Androgel) or injections, erythropoietin (EPO), human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG)… albuterol or formoterol. The list of prohibited substances is long. And involved. We’re also talking about blood doping, “the use of red blood cells from any source, or otherwise artificially enhancing the uptake, transport, or delivery of oxygen is prohibited. Any type of intravenous (IV) manipulation of the blood or blood components by physical or chemical means is prohibited.”

To read more of this week’s Carruthers Says in issue 18 of Cycle News, click here

AMA Motocross News

Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America’s Daily Motorcycle News Source.