Hot on the heels of NASCAR driver AJ Allmendinger getting nailed, former Prost driver Tomas Enge has been banned from motor racing for the period of a year and a half. The Czech, now 35, raced in three Formula 1 Grands Prix for Prost in 2001 and had been spending this year in the FIA GT1 World Championship.
“Greetings to all of my fans and supporters,” he writes on his personal Facebook page. “I would like to inform you about the punishment that was given to me for using freely available drugs. As I informed you after the race in Navarra, banned substances were found…according to strict anti-doping legislation, the athlete is responsible for even unconscious use of a prohibited substance or its use by negligence.”
Enge went on to stress that his use of the drugs was negligent as opposed to intentional and, for this reason, a possible two-year ban was reduced to 18 months.
“I think the punishment is a strict one,” he continued. “I reject any substantial misconduct on my part. I think the whole thing is a misunderstanding…I have already asked the FIA to permit the use of medication containing a prohibited substance for the treatment of cardiovascular problems. I hope that the Court of Appeal upholds that and that I will be able to succeed. Thank you for your support.”
Enge also failed a drugs test in 2002, costing him that year’s European F3000 title as he was disqualified from a race. In F1 a season earlier, he had competed for Alain Prost’s team at the Italian, American and Japanese events, replacing Italy’s Luciano Burti who had come close to losing his life in a heavy accident at the Belgian Grand Prix.
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