Former F1 doctor rubbishes claims that drivers do dope

Gary Harstein with Bernie Ecclestone

Gary Harstein with Bernie Ecclestone

Former Formula 1 doctor Gary Harstein has slammed suggestions even Formula 1 is not immune to doping.

From 2003 to 2005, Marc Sanson was head of the conseil de prevention et de lutte contre le dopage, Рthe French anti-doping council.

This year, the French senate revealed an explosive report about doping, with particular attention to the troubled world of cycling.

But Sanson was quoted as saying: “For many years, (Formula 1) drivers have used tacrine, a product used in the treatment of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, in order to remember the circuits more easily.”

According to The National newspaper, former Formula 1 doctor Harstein hit back angrily at Sanson’s claims.

He said the comments smack of a “loudmouth know-nothing looking for a headline”, adding that “tacrine is not and has never been on the prohibited list”.

But Hartstein said that even though tacrine is not prohibited, he doubts Formula 1 drivers take it anyway because “it has tons of side effects”.

“You may get a performance advantage, you may die, any number of things might happen, but it’s not doping – maybe stupid, but not doping,” he insisted. (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.

  • Uh

    So using a chemical that enhances your performance is not doping because it has not been put in the doping list?

    Lol, ok.

  • ForzaFerrari

    Well, the food that we eat has chemicals that make us stronger and therefore enhances our performance, but that is not doping. Where do you draw the line? Personally, I do not believe that any F1 driver would even *need* to use tacrin or whatever to remember circuits. The current generation of F1 drivers is made up of supremely fit athletes all in their prime. They would hardly need memory aids. Remembering 15-20 turns on a track should hardly be a problem. That’s why they have so many practice sessions so that drivers can refresh their minds! When it’s time for qualifying, I’m pretty sure that they have every relevant detail (corners, braking points, entry speeds, diff settings, DRS check-points, etc.) memorized!

  • JR

    Looks more like someone trying to draw attention away from wholesale drug abuse in cycling.

  • GreatOne

    1. Dope is slang for heroin.
    2. Cocaine and mushrooms leave your system the fastest.
    3. There is random testing in F1.
    4. Marijuana is better for you than Orange Juice.