FIA proclaims F1 drug-free

A week of wild speculation about the use of drugs in Formula 1 was brought to a swift end on Thursday when motor racing's governing body confirmed to autosport.com that no evidence of foul play was found during its 2004 doping tests

FIA proclaims F1 drug-free

Amid the backdrop of wild claims made by a former Ferrari doctor that cocaine use was widespread in F1, an FIA source confirmed that the results of the drug tests it conducted last season indicated that no problem had been found at all.

"Last year's test were all fine and we are happy that no driver has failed a drug test in Formula 1," said the source.

The FIA conducted random tests after Saturday qualifying at selected events last year - with a selection of drivers chosen to take the tests.

The timing of the FIA's confirmation of the all-clear could not have come at a better time, when the New Year period was dominated by wild stories coming out of Italy that the use of drugs was widespread in grand prix racing.

In an interview with Italian magazine Quattroruote, a former Ferrari team doctor Benigno Bartoletti said that he believed about one third of drivers were taking cocaine.

"At races, there is a lot of cocaine and in Formula 1, it could be as many as one third of all drivers who take cocaine," he said.

Bartoletti's claims were quickly dismissed by leading figures, including several F1 drivers.

Although no F1 driver has yet failed an F1 dope test, former grand prix driver Tomas Enge lost his chance of winning the 2002 International Formula 3000 Championship when traces of marijuana were found in his bloodstream after the Hungarian round of the championship that year.

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