Andrea Iannone drug ban decision to come on January 7?

Aprilia MotoGP rider Andrea Iannone could find out whether he will receive a lengthy ban from MotoGP competition in the early weeks of January 2020

Andrea Iannone - Aprilia MotoGP

Andrea Iannone could learn whether he is facing a lengthy ban from motorcycle racing in a matter of weeks with a B sample result reportedly scheduled for January 7.

The Italian is currently suspended from competition after it was announced he has failed a routine drug test during the Malaysian MotoGP.

His career effectively now rests on the outcome of a B sample test, which will determine whether his suspension is overturned and he can return to action or whether he faces a lengthy ban upwards of four years.

According to La Gazetta dello Sport, this has been scheduled to take place on January 7, though the ultimate decision announcement could come later than this.

The Italian newspaper also reports the substance found in Iannone’s A sample urine check was for drostanolone, which is a bodybuilding drug considered counterproductive to MotoGP competition where lower weights and ‘leanness’ are more beneficial.

It speculates the substance could have entered his system during his recovery from a shoulder injury sustained at the Misano MotoGP event in September.

For now, the winter hiatus means Iannone’s ban is not significantly detrimental from a competition perspective, with every chance a negative return on his B sample means he will indeed take up his spot in the Aprilia team for pre-season testing in February.

However, if Iannone is slapped with a lengthy ban it would likely open the door to Briton Bradley Smith to return to MotoGP in his place. The former Tech 3 Yamaha and KTM factory rider is Aprilia’s development rider and started four races for the team in 2019.