A British rally driver has been banned from all sport for eight years after breaching anti-doping rules for a second time.
Paul Bird, a regular competitor on the BTRDA Rally Series, was handed the suspension by United Kingdom Anti-Doping (UKAD) after refusing to provide a urine sample at the Rallynuts Stages Rally at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells on April 14 last year.
He had previously received a two-year ban in 2015 after testing positive for a metabolite of cocaine and diuretics.
"Mr Bird was charged with an ADRV (anti-doping rule violation) pursuant to Article 2.3 of the anti-doping rules namely, evading, refusing, or failing to submit to sample collection," UKAD said in a statement.
"It is clear in the anti-doping rules that refusing to provide a sample will be treated as seriously as a failed test," UKAD chief executive Nicole Sapstead said.
"Mr Bird was aware of this, having been warned of the consequences by doping control personnel at the time.
"UKAD will always aim to secure the strongest possible sanctions for those who do not adhere to anti-doping procedures; treating the concept of clean sport with complete contempt."
Bird has previously run a team in MotoGP, the Grand Prix motorcycle racing series.
His team Paul Bird Motorsport took part from 2012 to 2014.
More recently the team has found success in the British Superbike Championship, where it won the teams’ and riders’ titles in 2016 and 2017.
His ban has been backdated to July 11 last year and will last until midnight on July 10 in 2026, while he has been disqualified from the Rallynuts Stages Rally.
In a statement of their own UK Motorsport claimed they have "total confidence" in UKAD’s findings.
"We ask that all our members respect the anti-doping protocols, which have been put in place to protect the motorsport community and indeed the sport itself."