Iannone responds to doping ban after “silent suffering”

MotoGP race winner Andrea Iannone has expressed his disappointment after receiving an 18-month ban from competing by the FIM after failing an in-competition drugs test.

Iannone was given his 18-month ban, which ends in June 2021, after testing positive for an anabolic steroid in a urine test at the Malaysian Grand Prix in November.

As well as the ban, Iannone was also disqualified from the results of the Malaysian and Valencia Grand Prix.

The Aprilia rider was provisionally suspended by the FIM in December and was unable to ride in the pre-season tests in Sepang and Qatar.

Aprilia CEO Massimo Rivola has said that he would support his rider in his appeal which he can lodge with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

On Instagram Iannone said: “Months have passed since this sad story began and I confess that every day seemed like a year.

“Being judged innocent certainly does not leave me happy because, for the first time in history, an athlete is judged innocent and at the same time sentenced to 18 months for taking contaminated food out of his control. And I will not stop before this sentence because it will never happen again for anyone else.

“Despite the suffering of having to walk an impervious and not chosen path, unjustly, I decided to continue my every step in silence.

“My silent suffering, however, has so far hidden all that this story has taught me: nothing is taken for granted and everything can change in a second.

“However, I also carry many positive notes, such as your affection or being able to evaluate people and facts in a more mature way. That’s right, despite everything, today I am more mature and aware of your affection. You never left me and you accompanied me in every moment of this sad and hard path. That’s why I will face my future by remembering these moments forever, trying to be the strength that I had: giving the best of me to others.

“In thanking all of you who have been with me, however, I also extend my gratitude to my friends, my family and my father in particular, to the whole Aprilia team, to Massimo Rivola and to all my sponsors who never have me abandoned. In addition to my thanks, in addition, I extend all my esteem to my lawyer, Antonio De Rensis who has been at my side at all times like a father does with his children.

“To all of you, I will be forever grateful.”

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Sono passati mesi da quando questa triste storia è iniziata e vi confesso che ogni giorno mi è parso un anno. Essere giudicato innocente non mi lascia certo felice poiché, per la prima volta nella storia, un atleta viene giudicato innocente e allo stesso tempo viene condannato a 18 mesi per aver assunto cibo contaminato fuori dal proprio controllo. E non mi fermerò davanti a questa sentenza perché non dovrà succedere mai più per nessun altro. Nonostante la sofferenza di dover percorrere un cammino impervio e non scelto, ingiustamente, ho deciso di continuare ogni mio passo in silenzio. La mia sofferenza silenziosa, però, ha nascosto fino ad oggi tutto quello che questa vicenda mi ha insegnato: nulla è scontato e tutto può cambiare in un secondo. Mi porto dietro però anche tante note positive, come il vostro affetto o l’aver potuto valutare persone e fatti in modo più maturo. Proprio così, nonostante tutto oggi sono più maturo e consapevole del vostro affetto. Non mi avete lasciato mai e mi avete accompagnato in ogni momento di questo triste e duro percorso. Ecco perché affronterò il mio futuro ricordando per sempre questi momenti, cercando di essere la forza che io ho avuto: donando il meglio di me agli altri. Nel ringraziare tutti voi che mi siete stati accanto, però, rivolgo la mia riconoscenza anche ai miei amici, alla mia famiglia e a mio padre in particolare, a tutto il Team @aprilia, a Massimo Rivola e a tutti i miei sponsor che non mi hanno mai abbandonato. Oltre al mio ringraziamento, inoltre, rivolgo tutta la mia stima al mio avvocato, Antonio De Rensis che mi è stato accanto in ogni momento come un padre fa con i propri figli. A tutti voi, sarò per sempre grato. Andrea

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Aprilia “baffled” by Iannone’s doping ban

Aprilia Racing’s CEO Massimo Rivola has stated that Andrea Iannone’s 18-month doping ban “does not make any sense” and that they will continue to support him.

The FIM handed Iannone an 18-month ban after his urine sample collected at the Malaysian Grand Prix in November tested positive for a banned anabolic steroid.

Aprilia stated that the FIM accepted Iannone’s claim that he ingested the substance accidentally through contaminated food. They added that they would support Iannone if he lodged an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Rivola said: “The sentence leaves us baffled because of the penalty levied against Andrea, but also very satisfied in its motivations.

“The judges recognised Andrea’s complete good faith and unawareness of assuming the substance, confirming the food contamination argument. For this reason, the penalty imposed does not make any sense.

“In light of the motivations written by the judges themselves, Andrea should have been acquitted, as has always occurred to other contaminated athletes, but this situation leaves us a lot of hope for the appeal which we hope will be very quick.

“We want Andrea back on his Aprilia RS-GP. We will be by his side all the way to the end of this matter and we will support him in his appeal.”

Iannone was present in Qatar for the team launch on 21 February, but it is expected that test rider Bradley Smith will takeover from Iannone if his ban is upheld.

FIM gives Iannone 18 month ban for doping

The FIM has banned Aprilia MotoGP rider Andrea Iannone from competing for 18-months after failing a drugs test.

Iannone’s ban has been backdated to his suspension by the FIM on 17 December 2019, and will last until 16 June 2021.

Iannone tested positive for a banned anabolic steroid in a urine test at the Malaysian Grand Prix in November.

Although he failed to finish the Malaysian and Valencia Grand Prix, Iannone has now been disqualified from the results.

The Italian now has 21 days to lodge an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), if he so wishes.

The statement from the FIM read: “The FIM International Disciplinary Court (CDI) handed down on 31 March 2020 a decision imposing a period of ineligibility of eighteen months on Italian MotoGP Rider Mr. Andrea Iannone, commencing on 17 December 2019 (i.e. the effective date of the Provisional Suspension) and which shall end on 16 June 2021.

“Following a routine In-Competition doping test conducted at the round of the FIM Grand Prix World Championship held in Sepang, Malaysia on 3 November 2019, Mr. Andrea Iannone tested positive for Drostanolone metabolite 2α-methyl-5α-androstane-3α-ol-17-one, a WADA prohibited substance under heading “S1. Anabolic Agents, 1. Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AAS), a. Exogenous AAS” of the FIM Anti-doping Code.

“Following notification of his adverse analytical finding Mr. Iannone was provisionally suspended by the FIM since 17 December 2019.

“A hearing before the CDI on the merits of the case was held in Mies (Switzerland) on 4 February 2020. At the end of the hearing the CDI panel decided to suspend the hearing pending the additional and final written submissions of the parties (i.e. 28 February 2020).

“Mr. Iannone is disqualified from Round 18 of the 2019 FIM Grand Prix World Championship held on November 1-3, 2019, in Sepang (Malaysia) and Round 19 of the 2019 FIM Grand Prix World Championship held on November 15-17, 2019, in Valencia (Spain) with all of the resulting consequences including forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes.

“An appeal against the CDI decision may be lodged before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland within 21 days from the date of receipt of the CDI decision pursuant to Article 13.7of the FIM Anti-doping Code.”

Aston Martin confirms 2021 F1 entry

The rebranding of Racing Point as Aston Martin for the 2021 Formula 1 season is set to go ahead after its takeover was completed.

On Monday (30 March) a consortium led by Lawrence Stroll, father of Lance, completed its purchase of a stake in the British manufacturer, which was announced in January.

Shareholders of Aston Martin Lagonda approved £536m fundraising, underpinned by an injection of £260m of new capital from the Stroll-led Yew Tree Consortium.

Stroll has now become the Executive Chairman of Aston Martin, and its F1 team will be a works team.

“A brand with the pedigree and history of Aston Martin needs to be competing at the highest level of motorsport,” said Stroll.

“I think it’s the most exciting thing that’s happened in recent memory in Formula 1 and it’s incredibly exciting for all stakeholders in the sport, especially the fans. I can’t think of a better name for a Formula 1 team.

“Our investment strategy places Formula 1 as a central pillar of the global marketing strategy, and it makes perfect sense to rebrand Racing Point for this purpose.

“Aston Martin has been competing very successfully in various classes of motorsport throughout its history, but we now have an opportunity to create a works team in Formula 1.

“The global spotlight of Formula 1 is second to none and we will leverage this reach to showcase the Aston Martin brand in our key markets.”

In August 2018 Stroll and his consortium saved Force India from collapse, after it went into administration, and rebranded it as Racing Point.

McLaren helps to develop protective equipment for frontline healthcare staff

The McLaren Group has collaborated with the University of Southampton to develop protective equipment for frontline healthcare staff treating coronavirus patients.

As well as McLaren UoS has also worked with Kemp Sails to create a prototype in a matter of days.

There is a high demand for disposable surgical and FFP3 facemasks currently used in hospitals, with many now seeking more Personal Protection Equipment (PPE).

The prototype features a fabric hood with an integrated plastic visor. Clean air is delivered to the wearer via a HEPA filter from a battery powered fan pack mounted on a belt.

The prototype has been made from off-the-shelf components, and from initial demonstrations it has received positive feedback from doctors, nurses and patients.

The prototypes will now be used by doctors and nurses on the wards to garner feedback.

“If the tests are successful and the prototype obtains the necessary safety certifications, the concept will be published open-source so it would be available to other manufacturers and organisations around the world. The engineers on the team will also investigate developing simpler prototypes using only components available in developing countries.”

Hywel Morgan, Professor of Bioelectronics at the University of Southampton said, “This is an excellent example of industry, universities and hospitals combining their expertise and answering the call to develop solutions needed to save lives in the current crisis.

“We are really grateful to our partners at McLaren, Kemp Sails and INDO on behalf of Baynhams for their commitment in working around the clock with us to getting this from a concept to a working prototype in a matter of days.”