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DRUGS BAN FOR BIRD

Paul Bird, multi-millionaire supremo of the eponymous Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM) squad which has won five British Superbike Championships and was formerly also a MotoGP contender, is facing exclusion from sporting activities for two years after failing a drugs test.

Besides his motorcycling commitments, Bird is a keen and successful rally driver. The UK Anti-Doping Agency (UKAD) tested him and other competitors at a car rally in July 2015 and Bird’s initial results proved positive for benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of the Class-A recreational narcotic cocaine, and the diuretic furosemide. Both are illegal substances. He was immediately suspended from further rallying involvement.

That verdict was confirmed just before Christmas and a two-year ban from participation in any form of sport imposed, running from last July through to July 2017. It is as yet unclear how this sanction may affect Bird’s personal participation in running the high-profile PBM bike team, which is scheduled to be fielding works Ducati machinery in the 2016 BSB series.

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