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Andrea Iannone to discover drugs ruling decision ‘very soon’

A ruling on Aprilia MotoGP rider Andrea Iannone's provisional drugs ban is set to be made 'very soon' as the final deadline for a decision looms

Andrea Iannone - Aprilia MotoGP

Aprilia MotoGP rider Andrea Iannone is set to discover whether he has been successful in overturning his drugs ban ‘very soon’ as the deadline for his appeal decision looms.

The Italian was provisionally suspended on December 17 2019 after it was discovered he had tested positive for the banned steroid drostonolone during the Malaysian MotoGP on November 3.

When his B sample also came back positive, Iannone took his case to the International Disciplinary Court (CDI) in Geneva in January to argue the case that he had consumed the banned substance through contaminated meat. His lawyers presented negative hair samples which it contested proves the substance wasn’t in his system over a period of time.

The panel then had 45 days to determine a ruling, a deadline which is coming ‘very soon’ according to FIM President Jorge Viegas.

"The FIM president has nothing to do with the trial," Viegas is quoted as saying in the Swiss publication La Tribune de Genève and 24 Heures. "It has been examined by the lawyers for the two parties, who have sent the various documents they deemed necessary and a committee of three judges, all very experienced, who will very soon give its decision."

Andrea Iannone, Aleix Espargaro

What happens if Andrea Iannone is cleared?

If Iannone is cleared he will be free to race whenever that may be. Iannone was always set to miss the opening round of the season in Qatar but a series of cancellations and postponements relating to the coronavirus means he hasn't missed any events as yet.

With a ban potentially stretching to as long as four years, should Iannone be found guilty of a transgression both he and Aprilia - which has been public in support for its rider - will have the option to appeal that ruling too, though he'd remain provisionally banned for the duration of that period which would run into months.

However, in contrast if WADA considers the penalty to be too lenient, it could also launch its own appeal, again keeping Iannone out of action.

"Afterwards, there will be the possibility of an appeal to the CAS [Court of Arbitration for Sport], both on the part of Iannone and his employer, Aprilia, if the sanction is considered too severe; or on the part of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) if it considers that the sanction is not sufficient.”

If Iannone does return, he may come back to a frosty atmosphere after comments he made at the launch of the new Aprilia RS-GP MotoGP machine irked team-mate Aleix Espargaro. Iannone intimated the new bike had been developed based on his input, a claim disputed by Espargaro who angrily retorted he'd barely been involved in the process and doesn't deserve the credit he is stating.