Keeping famous races free from doping controversies

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Unlike many other sports, Formula 1 has historically been free from doping scandals. Here we take a look at the reasons behind this.

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Sporting scandals

We can all bring to mind hearing the news that a cyclist, tennis player, athlete or swimmer had been caught using some body-enhancing drug. Fortunately for F1, such tales are few and far between; in fact, it is safe to say that such scandals in professional motorsport are rarer than hens’ teeth.

High standards

The FIA has a stringent approach to drug testing and complies with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to ensure that its top drivers are randomly and regularly tested for drugs throughout the year. For thoroughness and accuracy, these take place regardless of whether drivers are racing. Crucially, none have failed such rigorous testing, which is testimony to the clean and drug-free sport we have come to associate F1 with.

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A clean sheet

F1 drivers know that the anti-doping prohibited list of many and varied substances does not allow for even the slightest misdemeanour. Put simply, to drive at such a level, they need to remain in tip-top condition. Football players may risk their health if using drugs, but it is different in motorsport – taking performance-enhancing drugs could have a massive impact on both the team and spectators.   The consequences of drug use on the track – or for the spectators enjoying a luxury experience could be nothing short of disastrous.  This is why drugs are banned from these events and why the management team have normally got Events Medical Cover in place in case anyone has been silly enough to take any before entering which they normally source from sites like

Risk management

There are already many risks in FI competitions, which is one of the reasons doping is considered a no-no by professional drivers. Another is the fact that the sport measures it success in microseconds. The smallest increment can have either a devastating or triumphant impact on the sport.

Not always the case

It must be said that motor racing has had its ups and downs with drugs. Sir Stirling Moss admitted that he used to take drugs and it was considered quite the norm; however, they weren’t considered ‘drugs’, as they weren’t body enhancing.

Why bother?

Speedy reaction times, high endurance and extreme muscle strength are just some of the qualities an F1 driver needs. Why take risks by taking drugs?

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