You know about the anti-doping test Broc Tickle took at the San Diego Supercross. You don’t know about the other one. On Monday after the Minneapolis SX, after Tickle had learned he was provisionally suspended from FIM racing due to the results from that San Diego test, he had his own test done, under the same World Ant-Doping Agency (WADA) code used by the FIM.
Broc then had the supplements he takes—vitamins, minerals, and fish oil, he says, not pre-workout drinks, protein shakes, or meal-replacement formulas, which he says he does not use—tested again. He had already had them tested, and they all passed; when he got them tested again, they passed again. Tickle says he makes sure to purchase only medical-grade items in hopes that they have better quality control than vitamins purchased at GNC or a drugstore. After many precautions, Broc Tickle still failed an anti-doping test.
So how did he get 5-methylhexan-2-amine—a synthetic stimulant said to aid breathing by allowing you to breathe out deeper and push harder, which would in turn help increase one’s VO2 max—get in his system? He says he has no idea.
Tickle’s failed test took place on February 10, 2018. He was notified of the failed sample on April 13, when he was supposed to take part in press-day activities for the Minneapolis SX. Tickle, already in town, was caught completely by surprise. He didn’t know what to do, so he did what he’s been programmed to do his whole life: gear up and get on a motorcycle. As he headed down the U.S. Bank Stadium tunnel, FIM Supercross Race Director John Gallagher stopped him and said they needed to talk. Because press day is not actually part of the sanctioned racing competition, Tickle was still allowed to ride. Gallagher suggested Tickle might want to stay out of the fray, though, in case the news had already leaked to a media member who would be waiting with questions Tickle couldn’t answer. He turned around and left. He would never ride a factory KTM again.
Tickle’s mechanic, Jade Dungey, had the Red Bull KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition ready to roll. It would go unused on the weekend. Tickle, meanwhile, booked a flight home and started looking for answers.