Every so often sports news, which is traditionally placed on the back pages of newspapers, makes its way onto the front pages. One such recent occurrence has been the doping scandal that has embroiled world renowned cyclist Lance Armstrong along with his subsequent confession to perpetual cheating through the most successful years of his career.

Mark Webber recently wrote an interesting blog post for the BBC detailing how his long running suspicions of Lance’s guilt lead to the end of their friendship back in 2008. F1 has long been regarded as a physically gruelling endurance sport, with drivers sitting inches away from red hot engines, racing in desert like heat at some tracks and going through high G-force corning for a sustained period of time. F1 drivers are reported to lose up to 4kgs of weight over the course of a race due to dehydration. Within Webber’s article, editorial comments from BBC chief F1 writer detail how doping could be beneficial within F1:

Several doping practices could potentially improve athletes' performances.

Among these would be saline infusions for pre- and post-race hydration; plasma regulators for thermoregulation and certain stimulants for alertness and reaction time.

Although muscle bulk is not a requirement - lean, fast-reacting muscles are more effective - steroids and cortisone could be helpful in accelerating muscle and bone repair in the event of an injury.

Some steroids can also promote aggression and fearlessness, which could improve performance.

This made me think whether doping could happen in motorcycle racing and whether there was any drug testing within major motorcycle events such as MotoGP or the Dakar Rally? Well the short answer is yes. The FIM (motorcycle racing’s governing body) has a 72 page long document detailing its anti-doping code. There have only been a handful of high profile doping cases in motorcycle racing but one of the most recent was Australian Moto2 rider Anthony West who failed a drug test for a banned stimulant which is alleged to improve both concentration and reaction times.

Following West's positive test, it was Mark Webber again who made the news by calling for more drug testing in motorsports. Hats off to Webber for taking West's positive test very seriously. Doping is not a victimless crime with many clean athletes having careers stolen from them by cheats. Cycling is a tragic example of this as the Armstrong era was a ‘stolen generation' as the number of riders who have been caught or confessed to cheating in this time is genuinely shocking. One of the most interesting points of Armstrong's recent ‘Oprah' confession is that individual tests are easy to pass (he passed hundreds of them in his career) but 'biological passports' which build a long term profile of an athlete's physical attributes are much tougher to beat. Perhaps the FIM should follow cycling's lead and toughen their stance on doping by introducing biological passports accordingly?