Andrea Iannone provisionally suspended after positive drug test

by Robert Jones

Aprilia’s Andrea Iannone has been given a provisional suspension from any Motorcycle racing after testing positive to an anabolic steroid, the sports governing body has confirmed.

The flamboyant Italian joined Aprilia on a two year deal at the beginning of the 2019 season, following spells at Ducati and most recently Suzuki.

In a statement, the FIM said: “The Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) has advised Italian Grand Prix rider Andrea Iannone that he is provisionally suspended pursuant to Article 7.9.1 of the 2019 FIM Anti-doping Code (CAD).”

Following the initial investigation launched by World Anti-Doping Authorities (WADA) in Germany, the FIM took the decision to suspend Iannone until further notice.

The immediate suspension will put Iannone’s ride for 2020 into serious doubt, and therefore future in MotoGP after an already disappointing year on track during 2019 for the 30 year-old.

As stated by the FIM in their press release, Iannone will have the right to attend the analysis of his B sample hearing: “Mr Andrea Iannone has the right to request and attend the analysis of his B sample.”

“Mr Andrea Iannone is provisionally suspended with effect from 17 December 2019. He is therefore barred from participating in any motorcycling competition or activity until further notice. Under Article CAD, Mr Iannone may request lifting of his provisional suspension.

Iannone’s positive test marks the first potential doping violation in the Grand Prix paddock, since former Moto2 rider Anthony West tested positive for methylhexanamine.

West lodged an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but was unsuccessful and therefore had a year and a half worth of results terminated as a punishment.

Should Iannone waive the right for his B sample or it remain positive, the provisional suspension will be upheld. If that scenario plays out, Iannone would then have the right to request a hearing or an expedited final hearing from the International Disciplinary Court.

For Aprilia, the process will now turn to identifying a replacement for Iannone regardless of the potential outcome, with test rider Bradley Smith sure to be in contention.

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