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Featured Franck Montagny Shocks Racing World with Failed Drug Test

Discussion in 'Formula E Championship' started by R.J. O'Connell, Jan 1, 2015.

  1. R.J. O'Connell

    R.J. O'Connell
    Commentator/Contributor Premium Member

    Franck Montagny.jpg
    French racing driver Franck Montagny admits that his driving career may be over after the revelation of testing positive for a banned substance after a Formula E race.

    The 36-year-old Frenchman, who had been driving for Andretti Autosport in this year's FIA Formula E Championship, told the French sports newspaper L'Equipe that he had tested positive for what has been identified as a cocaine derivative. Montagny withdrew from the most recent Formula E round in Punta del Este, Uruguay, citing a health issue.

    Montagny told L'Equipe that the positive test had occured at the second round of the Formula E championship in Putrajaya, Malaysia: "At the end of the race, I saw the guys who signalled me. There in my head, I understood immediately. I knew it was over. I took the plane, I did not go out, [I was at] home, in my four walls. Then I called my parents to tell them. I was ashamed."

    Montagny is suspended indefinitely from competition while awaiting a formal sanctioning from the FIA, which may include a lengthy ban from competition, and being stripped of his Formula E results that include a 2nd place finish in the inaugural race in Beijing. Per the FIA International Sporting Code, "violation of the regulations in individual sports in connection with an in-competition test automatically leads to disqualification of the results obtained in that competition with all resulting consequences, including forfeiture of any trophies, medals, points and prize."

    "Racing may be over for me," the Frenchman added, strongly punctuating his disappointment.

    Montagny previously drove for Super Aguri F1 Team during the 2006 Formula One season, and had also served as a test driver for the Renault, Toyota, and Jordan F1 teams. He has been a television commentator for Formula One on the French Canal+ network. He has ten career starts in the 24 Hours of Le Mans from 1998 to 2012, scoring four overall podiums as a driver for Peugeot and Pescarolo Sport. In addition, he has made three starts in North American open-wheel racing, including the last Champ Car World Series race at Long Beach in 2008, and the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis in 2014. Montagny has also raced in the American Le Mans Series, the International V8 Supercars Series, and was a two-time champion of the World Series by Nissan - the forerunner to the present-day Formula Renault 3.5 Series.

    His is not the first high-profile doping case in international motorsport. In July of 2012, former Champ Car World Series and current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver A.J. Allmendinger tested positive for a banned stimulant, and was suspended for the remainder of the season. Jeremy Mayfield, a longtime NASCAR veteran and former race winner, tested positive for methamphetamine in May of 2009 - he was suspended indefinitely, and has not returned to NASCAR-sanctioned competition ever since.

    Czech motorsport veteran Tomas Enge made his return to racing just this year following his 18 month suspension in 2012 for a banned substance. It was the second such test in his career, ten years after being disqualified from the Hungarian round of the International Formula 3000 Series for testing positive for marijuana - effectively stripping him of the series championship. This October, former Indycar and sports car veteran Randy Lanier was released from a United States federal prison after serving twenty-six years of a life sentence for his involvement in a multi-million dollar drug trafficking ring that also included fellow IMSA GT Series drivers John Paul Jr., Don Whittington, and Bill Whittington.

    As of today, Andretti Autosport has not announced a replacement for Montagny at the upcoming Formula E race in Buenos Aires, Argentina. At the Punta del Este ePrix, Andretti fielded two cars for Jean-Eric Vergne and Matthew Brabham. Ex-Formula 1 driver Charles Pic raced for the team in Beijing as a teammate to Montagny.
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  2. Bram

    Roaring Pipes Maniacs | #27 Staff Premium Member

    Sad way to end a career like this, especially with a pointless drug like cocaine.
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  3. C'mon, a little pre-race booger sugar just stokes the competitive spirit!

    In all seriousness, I really hope he's able to get his personal life in order, and return to racing as guys like Allmendinger have.

    On another note, I'm happy to see Randy Lanier is, or will soon be, a free man. Life in a Supermax prison must have been hell, and I hope he's able to enjoy the remainder of his years in peace.

  4. It is still kinda sad we live in age where you can literally be shitfaced with alcohol every time except during race events. But little bit of some other drug and you are instantly out with heavy economical penalties I'm sure. I don't want to turn this into a drugs legalization discussion but surely we have learned in every imaginable way possible that taking this kind of hard line is not just unnecessary but just plain harmful for everyone involved. The team loses a driver, the sport takes a pr hit, the driver loses his career and sponsors get involved into something that should not be a huge problem in the first place.
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  5. They had to say Cocaine because no one wouldve believed it if it was Racing Fuel :D
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  6. +1
    It's strange how we all see alcoholism as a disease (as we should ,because it IS a disease) but when it comes to drugs it's never about curing an addiction or helping the victim of addiction, it's just about punishment, banning and expensive fines.
    If it is performance enhancing drugs, that's another story of course, but I highy doubt tha cocaine gives you an edge in racing...
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  7. Some assume the driver has a severe drugs problem.. but it might also been a rarely happening of recreational use.
    As this lousy substance has no physical competitive advantage, especially not if it has been used some days before a event.
    Still quite stupid to do this **** during the "racing season" if you know you get tested every now and than.
    But I hope he gets forgiven by the FIA with a minor sentence if it's his first offence, when promises to not do this again in the future.
    Because the rest of the world gets away with a public sorry (even big politicians).
  8. Frederic Schornstein

    Frederic Schornstein
    TXL Racing Premium Member

    But he is a racing driver, who outs his and other lifes at risk on the track. I expect the result (lomg term ban) to be the same when you still have alcohol in your system.

    You cant really gain an advantage using drugs in motorsport, but you can expose others and yourself to avoidable risks and that is why it should be penalised harshly no matter what kind of drug.
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  9. Martin Maaskant

    Martin Maaskant
    Premium Member


    They tested him positive on using drugs. I cannot see any comment that he was under the influence of drugs. So it is not fair to accuse him of endangering other drivers.
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  10. So basically this would be the same with alcohol if the test detects that you have drank alcohol sometime in the last 3 months. Stuff that you use/eat/inject leaves traces of it being in there in your system. Some substances leave very long traces while others are hard to detect. Drug test detect traces.

    Are you saying you are putting others at risk if you took alcohol 4 weeks ago and now go drive a race car? Or smoke tobacco just before sitting in a car? Take cocaine 3 weeks before a race? Out of those three the tobacco guy has by far the highest levels of drugs in his system. Yet only the cocaine guy loses his driving career. He could have taken just enough to there be a trace big enough for the test detect while the other one could have been shitfaced drunk 24/7 all the time before the race but tests clean because alcohol is not something that is tested for traces. They only care about driving under influence when it comes to alcohol.
  11. Come on guys, stop excusing the driver... you know if you're a sportsman or in this case, a racing driver that there are things you just can't do, for various reasons, he've done it, he admit it (great attitude) and he's out of racing. Simple as this is hard to find...
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  12. Those exact reasons racing driver can't do certain things but can do something else are just plain wrong.
  13. Yeah, yeah, i've had your age, if you know what i mean... if you can't understand that a f***ing racing driver can't use drugs (Hellooooo, we're talking about DRUGS, something that is not good for your health, nervous system, etçª) because it affects your body reactions and other things in the long term i can't explain it to you better, so i suggest you go study some medicine, not google or yahoo answers!!
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  14. My age? Ah, the quality racedepartment discussions... Whenever in doubt call out the other person for being a kid.

    Drugs? Oh you mean DRUGS! Why don't you use the google first to see which and what drugs are actually harmful and in what ways. You obviously have no idea. If you are worried about long term effects then let's ban alcohol. No? Well than then you have double standards. Which was my whole point. I'm not a proponent for drug use. I don't even smoke. But let's imagine montagny used cocaine once during the last 3 months. Maybe my rating system is different than yours but on my system that should not mean he loses his career. On my system it doesn't even register.

    Let's do some research then. Show me where it is proven that these hard handed methods do anything good for drug users? In fact the opposite has been proven to be true. Normal people who maybe use drugs once and get caught had no problems before the police got involved. Then they are in big trouble. Is it right for montagny to be thrown out because he has maybe done drugs? Is that how you fix it?

    Let's assume he has a drug problem. He loses his job and has to pay back sponsor moneys etc. Does that help him? No.

    Let's assume he just did cocaine once. The big bad cocaine. Now he gets caught. He loses his job and has to pay back sponsor moneys etc. Does that help him? No.

    Who benefits here? Nobody. He was not a danger on the track, he was not using his sports money to snort cocaine, he was not harmful for his sponsors or for his team. It is just one big mess created by people who believe heavy handed methods solving a problem that was not a problem in the first place.

    What are the long term reactions of, say, one time use of small dosage? This drug policy is a relic from 1920s. We should know better. But the stigma of drugs is still so strong that just totally trumps any common sense and science. The reality doesn't match the policy so the policy needs to change.
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  15. Loool, i won't even bother reading all those theories about drugs are good for your health... it's very simple: You're a racing driver and know that drugs are forbidden, you get caught with them you're banned, simple no? For sure doctors around racing environment know better than us what is the purpose of forbidden drugs in racing drivers!

    If someone tells me: "you quit smoking and you have a career in racing cars" you bet i'll quit the next day ;)

    Now if he ruined his racing life due to a simple cocaine shot it's very stupid in my opinion... if you think it's worth it i don't...
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  16. What Rui said!
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  17. Well if you are going to say "drugs are good" the obviously you did not read anything at all I said.
  18. Martin Maaskant

    Martin Maaskant
    Premium Member

    Rui, I agree with you on the part that drugs are not good for you. And I also agree that he should have known better. My point was that there was no proof the he was under the influence of drugs during the race. The test only told the Stewarts that he used it somewhere in the past. Good thing they punished him. Oh, and to get things really straight the FIA did not end his career. The team decided to replace him. If that is too harsh that is another discussion. I can imagine that the team has to think about their sponsors.
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  19. Robert vd Heide

    Robert vd Heide
    Piloting RC Helicopters and sim Racecars

    Shaka Zulu destroyed the Brittish while using a substance
    these days most armies use meds and drugs ,to suppress fear and create a hive mind.
    coke can speed up responses,mariuhana can enhance focus and concentration
    other substances can suppres fear or promote courage.

    so " Hellooooo, we're talking about DRUGS, something that is not good for your health " is way too simply said

    it all depends on WHO is using it ,and WHY

    and there is an acceptable way to use drugs too
    ,just have a long run before the race ,and the body makes its own dopamine and other stuff

    ps. i wonder how many simracers would pass a drugtest
    and not get caught on alcohol or mariuhana usage :rolleyes: or even Coffee ,wich is one of the worst drugs and therefore allowed.
  20. Interesting discussion but some key arguments are missing. Whether it's drugs or alcohol, in a sport that many look to these individuals for inspiration, as heroes, and role-models, what kind of message is being sent?

    As a society that should be the focus for these are the people that influence entire generations. If we condone certain behaviors then those behaviors may turn into the societal norm. How many celebrities, singers, etc disrespect the law or law enforcement? What it's led to is a younger generation thinking they can do the same. The same applies here.

    Sure he needs help to some degree or another but if we want true heroes and role-models then there must be high standards. If not, therein lies the societal double standard. If I, a regular citizen, can't use illegal substances without suffering the consequences i.e. losing my job then it's hard to say it's unfair for a professional with much more influence to lose his/her job.

    A complete ban may be harsh but until he's proven to be clean and upholds the high standard expected of him he shouldn't be allowed to drive. Racing is a privilege and he obviously forgot that at some point
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