The FIM has today offered an interesting and detailed insight into fuel test procedures, most notably conducted at RedBud in 2018 for the FIM Motocross of Nations, which resulted in Team Italy being disqualified from the event after gasoline in Michele Cervellin’s motorcycle was found to be non-conforming.
The communication is available in full below but to summarise, the FIM stress that as the World governing body they have a responsibility to uphold the absolute neutrality and integrity of all its championships and will use fair and robust practices to do so.
The FIM breaks down the timeline for each stage of the fuel test procedure and from that you can see how time can start to mount up.
Initially, the samples are taken to an FIM laboratory in Switzerland. A month later test reports from A samples are delivered to the FIM and a letter of non-compliance is sent to the rider. The rider/team are given 48 hours to notify if a counter-expertise (test of C sample) is required. The team/rider asks for a counter-expertise test.
By now they are into December and a list of available laboratories is given by FIM to rider/team, which the rider/team responds to. By the time the C sample is taken from Switzerland to the Netherlands by authorised courier they are getting into 2019 territory.
In January, the C sample test report was delivered to the FIM from a laboratory in the Netherlands. Race Direction was notified and they made the decision to proceed with the sanction.
A notification of sanction was then sent to the rider/team and they would then confirm they had received the notification – the rider/team had five days to appeal against the decision.
The appeal deadline passed with no request received and the FIM issued the official press release.
With so many people involved within the process, both from riders, teams and likely federations to authorised couriers transporting over significant distances and FIM representatives, it is perhaps understandable a significant amount of time needs to be given.
Did it need to be four months?
Well, the FIM are reviewing its procedures and processes to ensure they can resolve such matters in the most time efficient way.
What do you think? Are you happy to see the FIM take their time on things that could change the history of an event as long as they get it right or do they need a rethink? You know where to hit us up with your thoughts.
FIM fuel test statement is below:
“Further to the recent communication regarding the FIM gasoline tests conducted at the 2018 FIM Motocross of Nations (Red Bud, United States), the FIM would like to provide further insight into the comprehensive due process that had to take place after the initial samples were taken back in early last October.
“Adhering strictly to the procedures clearly set out in the FIM rules (63.05 Fuel Sampling and Testing from the 2018-1 FIM Technical Rules Motocross page 33), the exhaustive steps that were required before a decision was taken and communicated in this matter are presented in the overview below.
1: Gasoline sampling conducted by FIM officials at event.
2: Samples transported from event to FIM laboratory in Switzerland by authorised courier.
3: Sample delivery.
4: Test reports – for all A samples – received by FIM from laboratory in Switzerland. B sample not used.
5: Letter of non-compliance sent to rider in question with copy of the test report.
6: Rider/Team had 48 hours to notify if a counter-expertise (test of C sample) was requested at the same or a different laboratory.
7: Notification of counter-expertise requested by the Rider/Team.
8: List of available laboratories given by FIM to Rider/Team.
9: FIM notified by Rider/Team of the choice of an FIM approved laboratory in the Netherlands.
10: Transportation of C sample from Switzerland to the Netherlands by authorised courier.
11: Sample delivery.
12: C sample test report received by FIM from laboratory in the Netherlands.
13: Notification to Race Direction.
14: Race Direction decision to proceed with sanction.
15: Notification of sanction sent to Rider/Team.
16: Confirmation of receipt of the Notification of Sanction by Rider/Team.
17: Rider/Team had 5 days to appeal against the decision.
18: Appeal deadline passed with no request received.
19: Issue of official press release by FIM.
“Whilst the FIM is continually reviewing its procedures and processes in order to resolve such matters in the most timely way possible for the benefit of all parties concerned, the FIM’s primary responsibility as the World governing body remains to preside over fair and robust practices that uphold the absolute neutrality and integrity of all its championships.”