Former MotoGP team owner gets two-year rally drug ban

Rally driver and motorcycle racing team owner Paul Bird has received a two-year motorsport ban, having tested positive for cocaine and diuretics after a rally win in July.

Former MotoGP team owner gets two-year rally drug ban
Michael Laverty, Paul Bird Motorsport
James Ellison, Paul Bird Motorsport ART and Michele Pirro, Honda Gresini
Paul Bird and Ian Windress, Munchi's Ford WRT Ford Focus WRC 08
Shayne Byrne + Team Owner Paul Bird celebrate the title victory

Bird, 48, failed a drug test after emerging victorious in the Nicky Grist Stages - the sixth round of the BTRDA Rally Championship.

He has now received a two-year ban from "all sport", issued by the UK Anti-Doping agency, which will see him suspended until July 2017.

UKAD's Graham Arthur said, in a statement: “Every athlete must adhere to the principle of strict liability; they are solely responsible for what is in their system regardless of how it got there.

“This principal can be challenging for athletes but they must ensure they take the appropriate steps to manage the risk at all times.”

Bird's team ran the Kawasaki World Superbikes squad between 2009 and 2011 and subsequently ran in MotoGP in 2012-2014.

His MotoGP squad fielded the likes of Yonny Hernandez, Michael Laverty and James Ellison, the latter securing its record result with a pair of ninth-place finishes in 2012.

The Paul Bird Motorsport squad also has four British Superbike titles to its name, with three courtesy of Shane Byrne and one achieved by the late Steve Hislop.

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