Andrea Iannone's doping saga appears to be coming to an end. In a press release issued today, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) announced that the court would issue its decision in mid November on the two appeals lodged against Iannone's 18-month ban for testing positive for drostanolone, handed down by the FIM International Disciplinary Court (CDI). Those appeals were heard on Thursday, October 15th.
There are two appeals, because it is not just Andrea Iannone appealing for his ban to be lifted. After the FIM CDI reduced Iannone's ban from two years to 18 months, WADA, the World Anti-Doping Agency, appealed against that sentence, demanding the FIM impose the mandatory 4-year ban which comes with a doping violation under the WADA code, to which the FIM is a signatory.
An announcement in mid November would mean that Iannone will be able to race at Portimao, and possibly one of the Valencia rounds if the CAS rules in his favor. But it will also mean that Aprilia will be able to move forward with a decision on who they want to partner Aleix Espargaro in 2021, with Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith waiting to hear if they will be selected. Aprilia's first pick, Andrea Dovizioso, appears to have chosen to pursue a role as a test rider, with a view to returning to racing in MotoGP in 2022, rather than racing what is still a relatively uncompetitive Aprilia RS-GP.
The press release from the CAS appears below:
UPDATE ON THE CAS PROCEEDINGS IN THE ARBITRATIONS ANDREA IANNONE V/FIM AND WADA V/ ANDREA IANNONE & FIM
Lausanne, 16 October 2020 - The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) hearing in the appeal arbitration procedures filed by the Italian MotoGP rider Andrea Iannone and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) took place on 15 October 2020.
The panel of arbitrators will now deliberate and finalise the Arbitral Award containing their decision. It is expected to be notified by mid-November 2020. The final award will be announced on the CAS website.
The proceedings concern the decision taken by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) International Disciplinary Court decision dated 31 March 2020 (the Challenged Decision) in which Andrea Iannone was found to have committed an anti-doping rule violation and an 18-month period of ineligibility was imposed on him.
Andrea Iannone seeks to have the Challenged Decision annulled, whereas WADA requests that the Challenged Decision be replaced by a new decision imposing a four-year period of ineligibility on the rider.