Former Grand Prix racer Tomáš Enge has been hit with an 18-month ban from racing by the FIA after failing a drugs test for a second time.
The 35-year-old Czech driver tested positive to a banned substance during a random in-competition drug test in May, which he admitted to being through the purchase and use of a common over-the-counter pharmaceutical medicine.
Enge contested three Grands Prix for the financially-strapped Prost team in its last season in the sport, later going on to compete in the Formula 3000, A1GP and, more recently, the FIA GT1 Championship.
This isn’t Enge’s first run-in with the motorsport establishment over his drugs tests. In 2002, he was disqualified from the Formula 3000 round at the Hungaroring after testing positive to marijuana – the punishment cost him that season’s championship title.
This time, the FIA has taken a harsher stance and imposed an 18-month ban from competitive driving.
This was despite Enge’s claims that his latest drugs test failure stemmed from it being negligent, rather than deliberate, contravention of the banned substances guidelines.
Enge has indicated that he will appeal the decision.
Coincidentally, his ban comes at a similar time to that of former Champ Car driver AJ Allmendinger, who was handed an indefinite ban by NASCAR authorities after testing positive to amphetamines.
The Californian – a former Atlantic champion who claimed five race wins in his three-year Champ Car career – had ‘A’ and ‘B’ samples test positive to the drug, and has since been fired by his employer, Penske Racing.