The last time we sat down and spoke with Broc Tickle about the status of his suspension from racing, he had just received the positive result of his B sample and his contract with Red Bull KTM had been terminated. It’s been over six months since that conversation and for the time being, there continues to be no further communication from WADA as to when he’ll actually have a hearing date and sentencing. Until that day comes, though, he remains provisionally suspended and unable to race at any level. With so much time and so few answers, we were curious to know what Tickle has been up to and where he sees things going from here.
Alright, let’s just start with the topic everyone wants to know about. Where are you at right now and what’s the latest with your situation?
Not much has changed since the last time I did an interview. I still don’t have a hearing date. With that being said, I had an opportunity come up about two weeks ago. Marshal Welton contacted me and to make a long story short, he was going to race again in Europe in the EMX class, but they changed the rules and it bumped him out to where he couldn’t stay over there and race. We had lunch and it got brought up that he and his dad thought it would be good if I helped him out. I asked what they were looking for and basically, they needed a riding coach, help with training on and off the bike, diet advice, and help with contacting some sponsors to get him through the year. We’re planning on the East Coast region. I sent them a proposal and the next day got the call and we’re all ready to go, so he’ll be here on the 12th of November. That’ll start this three-month chapter and it could turn into more obviously, but for now, it’ll just be until the East Coast starts. It’ll be a cool experience for me – it’s not about me, it’s about what’s best for him at this point – but that’ll be something cool for me to do and to give back. I still enjoy doing this stuff and I’ll still be doing my normal routine at this time of year, but through him. Ultimately, I’m looking forward to it and I know it’ll keep me busy. I wouldn’t say it’s going to be easy by any means to be the best I can at it, but I have a good shot at it and with all of the knowledge I have over the years working with multiple trainers and riding different bikes, it’ll be good. I’ll probably even try to ride the bike a little bit and guide him in the right direction. It’ll be a full package deal from A-Z.
Is that something you see as a potential avenue for you in the future regardless of the outcome of the suspension?
Yeah, I still want to race and I feel like I’m not done. I mean, if I wasn’t riding good and it was kind of written on the wall, then it’d make sense, but I feel like I’m riding well enough that it’s not time yet. With that said, I’ll use this as an opportunity to give back and do the things that I enjoy doing, and hopefully, in that time I find out more about my case and can make a decision for myself and what I’m going to do. At a certain point it’s going to be either the suspension is too long to race here in the states and I’ll head North to Canada and finish my career there or I’ll come back and race here. Like you said, doing something of this nature and helping someone like this is so that I can see if it’s something I want to do after I’m done. It’ll be fun and I’m looking forward to starting with him. For the time being, I haven’t ridden in a month now. I might try to ride this weekend, but hopefully, I can get a bike setup so that I can ride with him and maybe along the way I’ll add a guy to ride with him on the side. I don’t want to take the focus away from Marshal because he’s the main concern, but if we can get a couple of guys to moto together it’d be pretty cool whether or not they’re all working with me. It’ll be a fun process. I’ve struggled from one side of the spectrum to the other, so I think I’m a good fit for understanding how different everybody is.
During this time off, you haven’t been able to race at all, but do you have any idea at all what your limitations are under the suspension?
That’s the problem, it doesn’t state officially what I can’t do, it just says that it “can” effect. It just puts you up against the wall. Like with Donn [Maeda] and the situation with Straight Rhythm, it would have been awesome to race it and it would’ve been fun, but it didn’t seem like the right thing to do. I didn’t want that race to be the reason why I get my suspension start date pushed back another five months. That just doesn’t make sense. I think the game of me being patient is the best plan. We’ll just see what happens. Hopefully in the next three months I can find out my timeframe with a hearing date and then I can go from there and mentally I’m free from it. Once that happens, I’ll be ready to go. All of this stuff with helping Marshal will be positive for me. It’ll be rewarding and I’m excited about it.
I recently watched an interview with Joe Rogan and Josh Barnett, who went through an eerily similar situation to the one you’re in, but with USADA. Have you reached out to any other athletes, both in and out of motocross, to learn more about what they’ve done to get through this?
My attorney contacted Cade Clason’s dad and they talked and exchanged emails a few times, but for myself, the only person I’ve talked to was Floyd Landis. He actually answered the phone when I called so that was cool. He obviously has a bitter taste in his mouth because of the whole situation and how he feels about them. It’s pretty stamped. It was cool to talk to him and get his insight. Other than that, the lab I talked to had some insight on things, but it’s nothing that will effect me. It’s just information that I can take in. It’s just a tough deal, it’s hard because we’re racing dirt bikes and I do believe there needs to be drug testing, it’s necessary, but this process that I’m dealing with is not right for anybody. You and everybody else who rides motocross understands that you start riding when you’re young and it’s all we ever do. It’s our livelihood and it gets ripped right out of your hands without any sympathy or justice.
And you’re in a weird spot because the organization you’re up against needs people to fail for them to be successful.
Yeah, I would say that’s 100-percent the case. The reason why we did end up getting this testing is that all of the manufacturers came together and wanted it, but it’s happened three times now. I’ll go ahead and say it, this ruined James Stewart’s career. He’ll probably never come out and say it, but with what I’m dealing with now, I could see how you’re just over it. It sucks that it’s that way. Clason was in a different position because he was making main events but wasn’t making much money and in that position, his best option was to go to Canada anyways. I think he was going to race there no matter what, so it worked out and he just went. For a guy like Stewart or myself, though – and obviously, Stewart is a bigger name guy than I’ll ever be – it’s two guys that are no longer racing currently in the series. It blows my mind, and I don’t mean this in a negative way against the AMA or FELD, but it seems like they’re blindsided by it as well. It doesn’t make sense to me because the people who signed the paperwork for this don’t even know what’s going on. That makes it difficult. I’ve just accepted that this happened for a reason and I might as well just sit here and wait until the door opens.
What are your takeaways from being put in this situation? In other words, what advice might you give to someone who is trying to avoid being in your shoes or who ends up in your shoes in the future?
I think ultimately you’d better be ready for a change. I look at it differently because I am the one at the moment, so for me, it’s all about having patience and it’s happened for a reason. I have to believe that. This is leading up to something and I’ll be ready when the time comes. Another thing is you can’t fight it. If you try to fight in a situation like this, it does no good for you. It’s like any other situation like this in life; if you try to fight it, it doesn’t work out. I just try to keep myself sane through riding, training, working, and helping people. I mean, I’ve done it for the past six months. I’ll go fishing and golfing and all that, but I’ve realized that if there’s nothing in front of you, yeah, golfing and fishing is sweet, but what is that doing for you? You start looking at a much bigger picture and I got to that point. When the Welton thing came up, it gave me something to look forward to. I get to look forward to his first Supercross. If I knew my suspension, then I could look forward to that. This whole grey area that I’m in, you have to find something to look forward to mentally because otherwise, you lose yourself. I see how people get jacked up from things like this. It’s a big change, but I’ll be ready whenever it’s time to be.