After returning from the Sepang tests, Massimo Rivola spoke to Speedweek about the "Iannone case".
"I'm not even considering the possibility that Andrea will be absent for the entire season. I have good reason to think he won't. The hair sample was negative, and it can date back five months, until September. It was negative all that time. Andrea's was great gesture because not all athletes would have allowed this type of testing, since you can detect everything with it. Hair tests don't lie."
The problem is that the WADA only considers urine tests.
"Only urine samples are mentioned in the WADA regulation, because this type of analysis costs much less and you have the result in a very short time," Aprilia Racing's CEO continued. "There are already eight cases of athletes whose hair tests were also negative. They all appealed to the CAS after losing the first instance decision, and they won. I remember that everyone who presented this type of test won."
Even in this case, however, the problem is the start of the World Championship in Qatar, which is really close. The tests will take place February 22nd to 24th and the Grand Prix on March 8th.
"I'm quite relaxed about Andrea returning, even if 'relaxed' isn't the right word. I'm a bit disappointed because he's guilty, and he's paying for something he hasn't done. But we at Aprilia are also paying for this. We need him now more than ever, since this bike was also built on the basis of his suggestions. He wanted a bike that was better in corners and smoother overall. What he had with Suzuki. We're certainly at a disadvantage because of his absence."