This Tween Polish Kart Driver Got Busted For Doping

Illustration for article titled This Tween Polish Kart Driver Got Busted For Doping

This young man is Igor Walilko, a 13-year-old national junior champion driver from Poland and owner of a flashy, hilariously translated official website. In June 2010, Walilko tested positive for a banned substance called nikethamide after competing in an international kart race in Germany. He was 12 years old at the time.


Earlier this month the Federation Internationale de L'Automobile, or FIA, banned young Walilko for two years for testing positive in his post-race urine test, and he hasn't competed since. He and his lawyer, Michael Lehner, are set to appeal the decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland tomorrow. Instead of attempting to provide evidence that the substance was consumed accidentally — a route that's allowed for nikethamide in particular — Lehner says he will argue that because Igor was under the age for the Youth Olympic Games cutoff, he cannot be considered criminally liable for doping.

"A 12-year-old boy is not able to remember what he eats the whole day," Lehner explained to the AP this week. "Maybe he gets it from some friends, we don't know." While we admire his honesty, he would probably be safe to go the American route and blame whatever the Polish version of a Fruit Roll-Up might be. Or Perdue chicken.

13-Year-Old Kart Driver Appeals Doping Ban [AP]



Nikethamide is a stimulant which mainly affects the respiratory cycle. Widely known by its former trade name of Coramine, it was used in the mid-1900s as a medical countermeasure against tranquilizer overdoses, before the advent of endotracheal intubation and positive-pressure lung expansion. It is now considered to be of no value for such purposes, and may in fact be dangerous. However, the toxicity of nikethamide is quite low (LD50 rabbits 650 mg/Kg oral, LD50 rats 240 mg/Kg s.c.).Theodor Morell, Adolf Hitler's personal physician, would inject the German ruler with Coramine when Hitler was unduly sedated with barbiturates. In addition, Morell would use Coramine as part of an all-purpose "tonic" for Hitler.It is available as a short-acting over-the-counter drug in several South American and European countries, combined with glucose in form of lozenges. It is especially useful for mountain climbers to increase endurance at high altitudes.