Andrea Iannone has issued an emotional statement via social media after his MotoGP ban was more than doubled to 4-years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The Aprilia rider originally received an 18-month ban from the FIM after testing positive for the anabolic steroid Drostanolone at last November’s Malaysian Grand Prix.
Iannone, who says the substance was ingested accidentally by eating contaminated meat in Malaysia, then appealed to the CAS to have the ban annulled.
But the World Anti-Doping Agency mounted a simultaneous appeal, seeking to have Iannone’s sentence increased to 4-years on the grounds that he had ‘failed to establish to the requisite standard that the origin of the prohibited substance in his sample resulted from meat contamination’.
The CAS Panel ultimately sided with WADA, ruling that Iannone had not only committed an anti-doping violation but also ‘failed to establish, on the balance of probabilities’ that the violation had been unintentional.
That meant the worst possible outcome for Iannone; the previous 18-month sentence being replaced by a new 4-year ban, ending in December 2023.
In turn, having hoped he could be back on the grid for the start of next season, the 31-year-old’s MotoGP career is instead almost certainly over, although he insists “I certainly do not give up.”
“Today I’ve received the worst injustice I could ever have imagined,” Iannone wrote on Instagram.
“They ripped my heart apart from my greatest love.
“No logical sense on these allegation(s) accompanied by incorrect facts.
“For this there will be an appropriate place and time… because I certainly do not give up.
“I knew I was facing the strong powers, but I was hoping.
“I was hoping for intellectual honesty and the affirmation of justice.
“Right now I am suffering at the highest level I could imagine.
“Whoever has tried to destroy my life will soon understand how my strength I have in my heart.
“The power of innocence and above all a clear conscience.
“A sentence can modify the events but not the MAN.”