POOLE Pirates promoter Matt Ford wants world speedway chiefs to show leniency and avoid banning skipper Darcy Ward before tomorrow's team declaration deadline.
Ward's fate remains in the balance after a failed alcohol test resulted in his exclusion from the Latvian Grand Prix 10 days ago.
The Aussie ace has since been allowed to compete in domestic speedway across Europe with the Federation Internationale Motorcyclisme (FIM) - the sport's global governing body - yet to break their silence on his punishment.
According to FIM anti-doping rules published in July this year, first-time offenders could face up to two years on the sidelines but may escape with only a reprimand.
Should Ward get banned, Ford warned that Poole would have no chance of adequately replacing their number one for the Elite League title run-in with no further changes permitted after August 28.
Discussing the implications of Ward's indiscretion for the first time, Ford confirmed he had yet to receive any communication from the FIM on the matter.
Speaking exclusively told the Daily Echo, Ford said: “If they were to ban Darcy now, it would mean us taking guests from other clubs so clearly this would not just have a huge effect on Darcy but the whole business at Poole and the club's supporters.
“We're hoping that after quite some time with no communication from the FIM that they will use their discretion and, as stated in their rulebook, no period of inactivity will be implemented.
“Ideally, Darcy will be able to complete his season. He has represented his clubs all year and with Poole and his Swedish club Piraterna involved in the play-offs, both clubs have a great need for his services at this late stage.”
Meanwhile, former Grand Prix star Emil Sayfutdinov today announced on Facebook that he would represent Pirates at the inaugural world club championship in Zielona Gora, Poland on Sunday.
Competing clubs will be required to name a five-man team but Poole will be without Vaclav Milik, who is on world under-21 duty, and Shamek Pawlicki who suffered a broken collarbone riding for Pirates at Leicester last Saturday.
Edward Kennett has been drafted in to guest for Pawlicki in tonight's home clash with Eastbourne (7.30pm).
Ford added that the Pole, who has returned to his native Poland for treatment, hoped to be back in action in a “couple of weeks”.
Pirates: (from) Ward, Grajczonek, Kennett (guest), Milik, Janowski, Compton, Newman. Team manager: Neil Middleditch.
Eastbourne: (from) Kylmakorpi, Lahti, Woodward, Halsey, Wright (guest) plus two unconfirmed guests. Team manager: Trevor Geer.
- The Daily Echo contacted the FIM for the latest on Ward's status but have yet to receive a response.