WADA will seek a four-year drugs ban for Andrea Iannone

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) will look to use Andrea Iannone's appeal against his drugs to instead get it extended out to a four year term

Andrea Iannone - Aprilia MotoGP [1200]

The World Anti-Doping Agency will attempt to have MotoGP rider Andrea Iannone’s drugs ban extended out to the maximum four years, it has been reported.

The Italian is currently serving an 18-months suspension from competition after testing positive for the banned steroid drostanolone during the Malaysian MotoGP event in November 2019.

It is a ban that would keep him out of action until July 2021, Aprilia MotoGP rider Iannone has protested his innocence, claiming he ingested the substance unknowingly through contaminated meat served at the hotel he was staying in.

At the time lawyers defending him said there was an acceptance he didn’t intentionally consume the steroid, only to be punished for doing so, though the FIM made no reference to this in its official communications.

As such, Iannone is launching an appeal against the decision but it’s a plan that could backfire amid reports the outcome could go the other way and see his ban instead extended.

According to Reuters, WADA – the official body that co-ordinates and monitors the fight against drugs in sport around the world – will counter his appeal with its own by going to the extent of recommending a maximum four-year ban from competition.

A sport that hasn’t been tarnished by many doping cases over the years, WADA is pushing for the maximum sentence – one that would effectively end Iannone’s career – by claiming ignorance isn’t considered a viable defence.

As it stands, no date has been set for the appeal, which will take place at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

“A procedural timetable is being established for the filing of the written submissions,” CAS said in a statement.
“No hearing date has been fixed yet.”    

If Iannone’s case is not heard before July 19 then Bradley Smith has been lined up to take his place in the Aprilia team. If Iannone’s ban stretches into 2021 then it has set its sights on soon-to-be-ex Ducati rider Danilo Petrucci, joining the now-confirmed Aleix Espargaro.