Andrea Iannone future in doubt after 'positive' B sample drug test

Andrea Iannone's drug test B sample returns a 'positive' result according to reports, meaning a quick resolution for the Aprilia rider is unlikely

Andrea Iannone - Aprilia MotoGP

Aprilia MotoGP rider Andrea Iannone’s drug test B sample has reportedly come back positive, according to Italian media.

The Italian was provisionally suspended from competition in December after traces of an Exogenous Anabolic Androgenic Steroid called drostanolone was found in a routine urine sample during the 2019 Malaysian MotoGP.

Having given the green light for the B sample to be tested this week, Gazetta dello Sport is reporting that drostanolone has been discovered once again.

However, in an interview with Iannone’s Antonio De Rensis – who has previously claimed contaminated meat was the source of the trace – the report says the small amount lends to that aforementioned theory.

“The counteranalysis should attest to the presence of metabolites equal to 1,150 nanograms per millilitre, a small quantity, considering also that the rider had been in Asia for over a month and that the test, performed immediately after the GP, was relative to a urine sample very dense, equal to 1.024, due to strong dehydration after the race.”

Bradley Smith, Andrea Iannone

What now for Andrea Iannone?

For now there has been no word from the FIM on what decision has been taken with regards to a prolonged drugs ban, but while the trace amounts are likely to form the basis of Iannone’s defence to have his suspension quashed, the fact the B sample came back positive is still a big set-back for the Italian.

As a result, a formal decision on how to move forward could well be delayed, with the positive sample likely to scupper any chances of a quick resolution.

According to Crash.net, Iannone and his lawyers will need to prepare a case for a disciplinary hearing at the very least with a verdict to be issued within 45 days.

With Iannone likely to remain suspended until this alone is resolved, regardless of the outcome, he is set to miss the first MotoGP test at Sepang and possibly the opening rounds too.

What this means for his contract remains to be seen, but Aprilia Racing CEO Massimo Rivola says test rider Bradley Smith is lined up to replace Iannone for the period that he is out.