LONDON: Italian MotoGP rider Andrea Iannone has been provisionally suspended after testing positive for a banned substance, the governing body FIM said on Tuesday.
It said a urine sample provided by the Aprilia rider at the Malaysian Grand Prix on Nov 3 had shown an “adverse analytical finding of a non-specified substance under Section 1.1.a) Exogenous Anabolic Androgenic Steroids.”
Iannone, the winner of the 2016 Austrian Grand Prix, can request the analysis of his B sample, and he can be present when it is investigated.
The suspension puts Iannone’s MotoGP future in doubt, with his contract with Aprilia running until the end of the 2020 season.
Iannone, who joined the team last year, has struggled to match teammate Aleix Espargaro for the majority of the 2019 season.
He finished with 43 points to Espargaro’s 63, and his best finish was sixth place at the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island.
Iannone’s positive test marks the first official case of a potential doping offence in the grand prix paddock since 2012, when Moto2 rider Anthony West tested positive for methylhexanamine.
West had his Moto2 results over an 18-month period voided retrospectively.