Andrea Iannone's lawyer, Antonio De Rensis, has outlined the basis for their upcoming appeal against the Aprilia star's 18-month MotoGP ban.

Iannone was handed the sentence - which runs from December 17 until June 16, 2021 - when traces of drostanolone, a prohibited steroid, were found in both his A and B urine samples at last November's Malaysian Grand Prix.

While no explanation was provided alongside the judgement issued by the FIM Disciplinary Court, Aprilia Racing boss Massimo Rivola said they were baffled by the ban: "The judges recognised Andrea’s complete good faith and unawareness of assuming the substance, confirming the food contamination argument."

The issue of food contamination will now be central to Iannone's forthcoming appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), due to be held by May 15.

"The ruling clarified the contamination following meat intake, there is a point on page 15 [of the judgement] that, in our opinion, should determine the conclusion of the process with an acquittal," De Rensis told SkySport.it.

"Because the judges, I quote, 'also take note of the statements in the documents submitted by the rider regarding the high-class hotels where the rider ate meals and where contaminated food is not expected to be found. It follows that the rider's diet depended on the food available in the hotels and he did not have many other choices for meals'.

"You must tell me, in the face of these words by the judges, how you can give a person an 18-month suspension? They say that he did what he had to do, he had no other chance to eat.

"If Andrea had eaten in a small shop on the street, or had taken food from unknown people, then one could have doubts but the moment the athlete eats in the restaurant of a high-class hotel, I think he did everything he had to do.

"Nonetheless, he got an 18-month disqualification."

While many believe Iannone's career could survive if the ban is reduced to one-year or less, since he could take part in pre-season testing for the 2021 season, De Rensis is confident of a complete acquittal.

"The CAS will have to evaluate whether an athlete has done everything he should, as is also written in the sentence. I believe that Andrea Iannone deserves to be completely acquitted."

Should that occur then Iannone would be ready for MotoGP's belated start to the 2020 season, now planned for Jerez on July 19.

"We will file the appeal by May 15, but certainly before, at that point the federation has 20 days to reply to our arguments… I am confident that a decision can be reached in two months.

"In short, we trust that when presumably the world championship will start, Andrea will already have had the final sentence."

 

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