Andrea Iannone has taken to social media to give his reaction to the 18-month ban he’s been handed following his FIM anti-doping hearing for a prohibited substance from last November’s Malaysian MotoGP.

Iannone has been banned after testing positive for Drostanolone found in a urine sample taken at Sepang last November and his suspension starts from 17 December and runs until 16 June, 2021.

It would rule out the current Aprilia rider from the entire 2020 MotoGP season plus perhaps the opening eight races of next year. Iannone has also been disqualified from last year’s Sepang and Valencia rounds, but the Italian did not finish in either race so does not impact his or Aprilia’s finishing position in the 2019 MotoGP world championship.

Iannone is expected to launch an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), especially since Aprilia claims Iannone’s accidental consumption of steroids through food contamination was accepted by the FIM.

After remaining silent while provisionally suspended during his hearing, Iannone has taken to his Instagram account to give his side of the story as he feels a misjustice has been carried out after “being judged innocent” by the FIM who accepted he unknowingly consumed a banned substance but still hit him with a lengthy ban.

“Months have passed since this sad story began and I confess that every day seemed like a year,” Iannone wrote on his Instagram account.

“Being judged innocent certainly does not leave me happy because, for the first time in history, an athlete is judged innocent and at the same time sentenced to 18 months for taking contaminated food out of his control. And I will not stop before this sentence because it will never happen again for anyone else.

“Despite the suffering of having to walk an impervious and not chosen path, unjustly, I decided to continue my every step in silence.

“My silent suffering, however, has so far hidden all that this affair has taught me: nothing is taken for granted and everything can change in a second.”

Iannone also thanked his followers for their support during the anti-doping hearing process, while also showing his appreciation to his Aprilia team who continue to stand by him.

The Italian rider is set to take his case to the CAS in Lausanne where he will appeal the 18-month ban as he hopes to see it overturned to permit him to start the 2020 MotoGP season – when it eventually begins after the coronavirus pandemic is resolved.

“However, I also carry many positive notes, such as your affection or being able to evaluate people and facts in a more mature way,” he wrote. “That’s right, despite everything, today I am more mature and aware of your affection. You never left me and you accompanied me in every moment of this sad and hard path. That’s why I will face my future by remembering these moments forever, trying to be the strength that I had: giving the best of me to others.”

“In thanking all of you who have been with me, however, I also extend my gratitude to my friends, my family and my father in particular, to the whole Aprilia team, to Massimo Rivola and to all my sponsors who never have me abandoned.

“In addition to my thanks, in addition, I extend all my esteem to my lawyer, Antonio De Rensis who has been at my side at all times like a father does with his children. To all of you, I will be forever grateful. Andrea.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sono passati mesi da quando questa triste storia è iniziata e vi confesso che ogni giorno mi è parso un anno. Essere giudicato innocente non mi lascia certo felice poiché, per la prima volta nella storia, un atleta viene giudicato innocente e allo stesso tempo viene condannato a 18 mesi per aver assunto cibo contaminato fuori dal proprio controllo. E non mi fermerò davanti a questa sentenza perché non dovrà succedere mai più per nessun altro. Nonostante la sofferenza di dover percorrere un cammino impervio e non scelto, ingiustamente, ho deciso di continuare ogni mio passo in silenzio. La mia sofferenza silenziosa, però, ha nascosto fino ad oggi tutto quello che questa vicenda mi ha insegnato: nulla è scontato e tutto può cambiare in un secondo. Mi porto dietro però anche tante note positive, come il vostro affetto o l’aver potuto valutare persone e fatti in modo più maturo. Proprio così, nonostante tutto oggi sono più maturo e consapevole del vostro affetto. Non mi avete lasciato mai e mi avete accompagnato in ogni momento di questo triste e duro percorso. Ecco perché affronterò il mio futuro ricordando per sempre questi momenti, cercando di essere la forza che io ho avuto: donando il meglio di me agli altri. Nel ringraziare tutti voi che mi siete stati accanto, però, rivolgo la mia riconoscenza anche ai miei amici, alla mia famiglia e a mio padre in particolare, a tutto il Team @aprilia, a Massimo Rivola e a tutti i miei sponsor che non mi hanno mai abbandonato. Oltre al mio ringraziamento, inoltre, rivolgo tutta la mia stima al mio avvocato, Antonio De Rensis che mi è stato accanto in ogni momento come un padre fa con i propri figli. A tutti voi, sarò per sempre grato. Andrea

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If the ban is upheld it would effectively end Iannone’s career given his current Aprilia contract expires at the end of 2020 but with his suspension carrying into mid-June in 2021 very few teams are likely to want to sign Iannone, who will be close to turning 32 by then and moving into the latter stage of his career.

Aprilia has already confirmed it will back Iannone’s appeal to CAS which will prolong the saga as it remains unclear how long the appeal process will take.

In terms of the immediate future Aprilia is set to turn to test rider Bradley Smith, who filled in for Iannone during pre-season testing, while all parties have extra time on their side given the indefinite delays to the start of the season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

 

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