Former F1 driver Tomas Enge has been banned by the governing FIA for 18 months.
The now 35-year-old Czech, the only F1 driver ever to fail a drugs test a decade ago, failed yet another test recently. In 2002, he was stripped of his international Formula 3000 (GP2) title for failing a test for cannabis. And in June, Enge – who has been racing a Lamborghini in the FIA’s GT1 sports car world championship – confirmed he failed a recent drugs test, but denied the banned substance was cannabis once again.
Justifying the failed test, he revealed he has “suffered from long-term health problems” and had applied to the FIA for “an exemption” for certain drugs.
But the Austrian newspaper Kleine Zeitung, revealing that Enge argued he took a drug to deal with cardiovascular problems, said the FIA has suspended Enge for a period of 18 months. The report said Enge has consulted with his lawyer and now intends to push the case to the Swiss based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne.
Following team regular Luciano Burti’s huge Spa crash, Enge contested three grands prix for Prost Grand Prix at the end of 2001, before the French team folded. His best finish was twelfth on debut at Monza.
Tomas Enge, the only F1 driver to have ever failed a drugs test, has been suspended from racing.
The now 35-year-old Czech, who in 2002 was stripped of his international Formula 3000 (GP2) title, on Tuesday confirmed he has once again failed a drugs test. Enge, whose first failed drugs test was for cannabis, had returned to F3000 in 2002 after racing three times for the Prost team, which folded at the end of the 2001 season.
He has been racing a Lamborghini this year in the FIA’s GT1 sports car world championship. Enge wrote on his Facebook page that the latest failed drugs test, for an unspecified substance but “not” the active cannabis agent THC, had left him “in shock”.
He admitted that the 2002 cannabis charge had a “significant effect” on his career.
“That’s why ever since I have been almost paranoid” about accidentally consuming banned substances, Enge explained. “This is a shock, as I would never knowingly take any banned substance. I have suffered from long-term health problems which is why I recently asked the FIA for an exemption to use drugs that are on the list of prohibited substances.
“Now I need to consult with expert doctors as to how this situation has occurred.”
In 2007, the FIA banned GT driver Luca Moro for two years for alleged cocaine use.