Andrea Iannone’s MotoGP career is on the verge of an end after the appeal he filed to have his anti-doping ban overturned was rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sport and in turn increased the ban to four years. Iannone had been suspended from competing by the FIM towards the end of last year after he tested positive for a banned steroid during the Malaysian MotoGP weekend.
The Italian’s ban had also been upheld after a FIM hearing back in March, but he claimed to have ingested the banned substance accidentally through contaminated food. Both Aprilia and Iannone appealed this ruling to the Court of Arbitration for Sports(CAS) after believing that acquittal of other athletes for the same offence in the past would also apply in their case.
CAS, however, rejected the appeal following a thorough review of the evidence and upheld the World’s Anti-Doping Agency’s bid to have the ban increased to four years which is the maximum ban period beginning 17th December 2019. CAS also confirmed that Iannone’s MotoGP race results from 1st November 2019 were disqualified officially.
The CAS panel rejected the appeal as Iannone had not provided the necessary evidence to back up the contaminated meat claim because he did not specify the exact type of meat he ate that lead to the contamination. Also, Iannone and his experts couldn’t provide substantial evidence suggesting there was an issue of meat contamination with Drostanolone, the substance that he tested positive for. All this lead to his ban being upheld.
Aprilia was in support of Iannone through the doping allegations and had even expressed to retain him for the 2021 MotoGP season if his ban was overturned. However, now Aprilia has to look for another rider to join Aleix Espargaro for 2021. It is believed that Cal Crutchlow has an eye for the seat as he had a pre-agreement with Aprilia as the team admitted last weekend that test rider Bradley Smith is also an option. Iannone is a one time race winner having raced for Suzuki, Ducatti and Aprilia since 2013.