Iannone: Justice or Vengeance?

© Bruce Allen     November 11, 2020

Click to access CAS_Media_Release_6978_decision_Andrea_Ianonne.pdf

And so it goes for Andrea Iannone. This is a career buster; his years spent as a world-class motorcycle racer are now over. He would have had a hard time reviving his career had he been acquitted. His suspension is now in effect until December 2023. He will be 34 and out of the game for four years.

I was never a huge fan. There was a brief period when it looked like he had the chops to apply for an Alien card, but that quickly went away as it became clear he was/is a little Sick in the Head (a great FB page BTW). He became something of a hazard to himself and those around him for awhile, then got booted to Aprilia where he no longer had to concern himself with contending for podiums and such.

I’m informed by a reader who should know that Iannone was, in all likelihood, guilty; if I were an attorney I’d be happy to stipulate that. But, in 2020, the punishment seems a little, well, draconian. He has joined the pantheon of athletes who willfully disregarded the rules of their sport in the hope of gaining an edge, got caught, and get punished. Those involved know the rules, and the penalties, when they decide to use PEDs. So it is hard, after the fact, to criticize the sentence handed down by the suits in charge. But it points, perhaps, to a need to update the regs, insofar as MotoGP is concerned.

Everyone should get a second chance to screw up and ruin their careers. The first offense–presence of banned substances–the miscreant submits to weekly blood and urine sampling, for, like, a year. Second offense, accompanied by a charge of stupidity, would be an automatic 18 month suspension. Third offense–they would be rare, as the 18 monther is a killer–and the rider is banned.

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In the Iannone case, there was no middle ground. Had this been a second offense (I don’t know if it was a first or second or whatever) he would have been found guilty, and let off with time served, in time, perhaps, to continue with Aprilia next year. That faint, last hope, along with the fact that he was on his way down the food chain anyway, has now been extinguished. With the financial threats the sport faces due to the pandemic, he should be thinking about a new line of work.

Iannone moving on continues the takeover by the new crop of young riders and the discombobulation of older established names. We’ve been pounding the table on this subject all year; no need to do it again. But it seems like 2020 was something of a watershed year year, with the cramped schedule, a Suzuki winning the title*, and no Marquez. Add to that the turnover in ‘mature’ riders essentially exiting–Crutchlow, Dovizioso, Iannone, Rabat, Rossi soon, Petrucci probably soon. See the shiny new faces–Marini, Bastiannini, Martin, Alex Marquez, even Bagnaia–and it’s clear the team owners have decided in favor of young and strong over old and clever. Conveniently, the bosses at Aprilia had no need to fire Iannone; he took care of that for them.

And so it goes.

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8 Responses to “Iannone: Justice or Vengeance?”

  1. Starmag Says:

    Everything I’ve read points to his guilt and therefore his dumbassery.

    They seem to be saying ‘Don’t challenge us or we will drag out your case forever and make an example of you with the max penalty if you appeal”. AI should have just taken the 18 months. Now he’s Screwed Joe. Given his persona and performance, I doubt very few care. The only reason I’ve read about this matter is simply slow MotoGp news days.


  2. Vrooom Says:

    Seems like he kind of got screwed, but he’s an idiot for using steroids, so perhaps it balances. He initially got a 18 month suspension, but when he appealed it they decided to increase it? That’s what I had read. Not sure there’s the same incentive to use PED’s in GP racing as there is in say bicycle racing, but obviously it needs to be stopped. But, as the Olympic doping committee said to gold medal snowboarder Ross Rebagliata, marijuana is not a performance enhancing drug. Good thing for snowboarding.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Old MOron Says:

    Considering then FIM rules, together with Allison’s observations, I don’t think the decision was vengeful.

    Here is the FIM Doping Code:

    Click to access 65.720.10_En_AD_CODE_for_the_Web.pdf

    The period of Ineligibility shall be four years where:
    The anti-doping rule violation does not involve a Specified Substance, unless the Rider or other Person can establish that the anti-doping rule violation was not intentional.

    First we need to know what a Specified substance is.
    We look at the FIM Doping Code and see:

    4.2.2 Specified Substances
    For purposes of the application of Article 10, all Prohibited Substances shall be Specified Substances except substances in the classes of anabolic agents and hormones and those stimulants and hormone antagonists and modulators so identified on the Prohibited List. The category of Specified Substances shall not include Prohibited Methods.

    Drostanolone is an anabolic steroid, so it is not a Specified substance. Hence Iannone’s violation satisfies section above, and he should be banned for four years – unless he can prove that his violation was unintentional.

    But he showed up at his appeal with no evidence!
    Basically he showed up and said, “I have a clean record and a pretty face, therefore I did not intentionally take Drostanolone.”

    “Andrea Iannone essentially left the Panel with protestations of innocence, his clean record and his alleged lack of incentive to dope. Factors which were insufficient to establish, on a balance of probability that Andrea Iannone’s ADRV was not intentional…”

    I think this decision followed the rules, and The Idiot Joe got what he deserved.


  4. Buzz W Says:

    Busted once for roids: 1 year riding Aprilia.

    Busted twice for roids: 2 years riding Aprilia.

    Who among us hasn’t put on the beer goggles and sampled “tainted meat?”


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