Andrea Iannone MotoGP ban increased to four years after CAS ruling

Andrea Iannone, 2019 MotoGP, Aprilia

Iannone's MotoGP is in serious doubt following the CAS ruling

Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images

Andrea Iannone has been handed a four-year suspension after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) denied the Italian’s appeal to overturn his ban over a positive anabolic steroid test,

At the same time, it allowed a separate appeal by the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) to extend Iannone’s ban from an initial 18 months.

It leaves the 31-year-old’s MotoGP career effectively over, given that he is ineligible to race until December 2023 — the maximum possible sentence for the breach.

Iannone was suspended by MotoGP back in December 2019 after failing a drug test and testing positive for Drostanolone, an anabolic steroid, ahead of the penultimate round of the season in Malaysia.

He and his Aprilia team argued that rider had accidentally ingested the substance through food contamination and, following an initial FIM hearing, looked to overturn his 18-month ban entirely by taking it to CAS.

CAS sided with WADA, citing Iannone and his team’s inability to adequately provide proof that the food was the source of the illegal substance appearing in his system or that there was a clear Drostanolone contamination issue with meat in Malaysia.

“The CAS panel found that Andrea Iannone had failed to establish neither the precise type of meat he had consumed nor the origin of said meat,” the CAS statement on the decision read.

“Moreover, the Panel found that neither Andrea Iannone nor his experts were able to establish specifically that there was an issue of meat contamination by Drostanolone in Malaysia.

“The Panel considered therefore that an (Anti-Doping Rule Violation) ADRV has been committed.”

The decision noted that while the violation may still have been accidental, the lack of subsequent proof meant that the infraction was to be treated as intentional and extended the initial suspension handed out by FIM International Disciplinary Court back in March to the full four-years.

Iannone’s disqualifications from the final two rounds of the 2019 season from the initial decision were also upheld.

Aprilia is yet to confirm who will partner Aleix Espargaro for 2021, with several names including Andrea Dovizioso linked with the seat for next season in place of Iannone.