In a scene that could have been pulled from the 1989 Oakland A's clubhouse, Andrea Iannone has tested positive for steroids at the Malaysian GP.
A note from the FIM declared "Andrea Iannone is provisionally suspended with effect from 17 December 2019," adding "He is therefore barred from participating in any motorcycling competition or activity until further notice."
Testing mistakes can be made, so fortunately for Iannone there is a 'B' urine sample. The FIM says that he can be present for the testing of this second vile and he plans to do just that. He can also appeal the results if he can prove that the steroids were taken accidentally.
Getting an anabolic steroid or two (the actual culprits are not made public under FIM rules) into your system legally would require a doctor's prescription, something that is not allowed under the rules. According to WebMD steroid prescriptions are usually for anemic patients, but scripts can also be written for, shall we say, sexually lacking individuals.
So, much like the fears of people giving your kids Ecstasy or THC gummi bears for Halloween, it is very unlikely that one could accidentally get anabolics mingling with the rest of the stuff in a urine sample.
Iannone took a break from posing in his underwear and posting shirtless workout photos on his Instagram to declare his innocence by stating:
"I'm totally relaxed and I want to reassure my fans and Aprilia Racing. I am open to any counter analysis in a matter that surprises me, also because - at the moment - I have not received any official communication. Over the years, and also this season, I have undergone continuous checks, obviously always proving to be negative, which is why I have every confidence in the positive conclusion of this affair."
If the results stand, Ianonne would be suspended for 4 years, which is not just a problem for him.
Iannone is under contract with Aprilia through 2020, so unless his "B" pee is 'roid free this opens up a seat alongside Aleix Espargaro. With the silly season moves over, one would assume that Aprilia test rider Bradley Smith might be in for more than just an occasional wildcard race. I am hoping it is a mistake, and will keep you posted as we find out more.