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MotoGP news: Andrea Iannone banned for 4 years, Marc Marquez won’t be back until 2021

Italian MotoGP rider Andrea Iannone has been suspended for four years for an anti-doping violation, after the Court of Arbitration for Sport extended his initial 18-month suspension following an appeal.

Iannone, 31, was suspended in March after testing positive for an anabolic steroid in a urine sample collected at an in-competition test at the Malaysian MotoGP in Sepang last November.

RIDER SAID RESULT WAS DUE TO EATING CONTAMINATED MEAT

The Aprilia rider was also disqualified from the final two races of the 2019 season – in Malaysia and then Valencia – which he had not finished.

In its ruling, CAS said the Italian’s suspension would be backdated to December 17, 2019.

Iannone had contested that the presence of drostanolone in his system was the result of eating contaminated meat in Malaysia.

However, CAS rejected his argument and upheld a WADA appeal seeking a four-year ban.

“The panel found that Andrea Iannone had failed to establish neither the precise type of meat he had consumed nor the origin of said meat,” read a CAS statement.

It said that contrary to the original decision taken by the International Motorcycling Federation (FIM), the violation was to be “treated as intentional for purposes of the applicable anti-doping rules, and therefore upheld WADA’s Appeal.”

“The CAS award sets aside the decision rendered by the FIM International Disciplinary Court dated March 31, 2020 and imposes a four-year period of ineligibility on Andrea Iannone,” it added.

SIX-TIME CHAMPION MARQUEZ OUT UNTIL 2021

Meanwhile, in other MotoGP news, six-time world champion Marc Marquez, who has not raced since fracturing his arm in the season-opener, will sit out the final two events on the 2020 calendar, his Honda team announced.

Marquez, 27, had won the title four years in a row but has been sidelined since crashing out of the Spanish grand prix in Jerez on July 19.

The Spaniard will now focus on a return to the track in 2021. MotoGP organisers last weekend released a provisional calendar featuring 20 races.

“As his recovery continues, Marc Marquez and the Repsol Honda Team confirm he will not participate in the remainder of the 2020 MotoGP season and aims to return to racing in 2021,” Honda said in a statement.

“Working through his recovery programme and tracking the progress of his arm, Marc Marquez in conjunction with Honda, his team and multiple expert doctors, has elected to officially delay his return to action until 2021.”

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