Aprilia MotoGP rider, Andrea Iannone, has been suspended from competition for 18-months. The rider was found to be taking the anabolic steroid, Drostanolone, during a routine test at the Malaysian Grand Prix last year. The substance is prohibited under the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme’s (FIM) Anti-doping Code. Upon testing positive, he was tested once again, still gaining a positive result the second time. Iannone’s competition ban spans 18 months, from 17 December 2019 to 16 June 2021.
"Following notification of his adverse analytical finding Mr. Iannone was provisionally suspended by the FIM since 17 December 2019,” the FIM said in a statement. "Mr. Iannone is disqualified from Round 18 of the 2019 FIM Grand Prix World Championship held on November 1-3, 2019, in Sepang (Malaysia) and Round 19 of the 2019 FIM Grand Prix World Championship held on November 15-17, 2019, in Valencia (Spain) with all of the resulting consequences including forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes.”
The suspension was decided during a hearing before the FIM International Disciplinary Court (CDI) on in Mies, Switzerland last Feb. 4, 2020. At the end of the hearing the CDI panel decided to suspend the hearing pending the additional and final written submissions of the parties. Iannone may lodge an appeal against the CDI decision within 21 days from the date of receipt of the CDI decision.
Iannone has long maintained his innocence and has submitted hair samples — a supposedly more accurate way of testing —to prove his innocence. The prosecutors themselves concluded that he did not purposefully take steroids. The FIM disciplinary hearing found Iannone had eaten contaminated meat, but could not be fully acquitted.
Until the case is resolved, Aprilia test rider, Bradley Smith, will likely be taking his place, assuming the MotoGP season pushes through this year.