Suspended MotoGP rider Andrea Iannone’s B sample has reportedly tested positive for the banned substance drostanolone.
The Aprilia rider was provisionally suspended by the FIM on December 17 based on results from a urine sample taken at November’s Malaysian MotoGP, after which time contaminated meat was raised as a possible explanation for the then-alleged breach.
According to Italian sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport, which reported the positive B sample, Iannone’s legal team will cite the small quantity of drostanolone as evidence of inadvertent consumption of the substance.
“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,” said Iannone’s lawyer, Antonio De Rensis, according to La Gazzetta.
That drostanolone is used in bodybuilding, which would be counterproductive to MotoGP racing, is also said to support the claim that the Italian did not intend to take the steroid.
Iannone’s punishment must be issued by the International Disciplinary Court within 45 days, a period which runs past the time of the first pre-season test of 2020 at Sepang (February 7-9).
Aprilia Racing CEO Massimo Rivola, who had expressed a hope that a verdict would be known by the end of this month, has already nominated the team’s test rider, Bradley Smith, as Iannone’s likely replacement if required.