by Paolo Scalera and Matteo Aglio
The Andrea Iannone affair is back in the limelight these days thanks to a report produced by the Italian TV programme Le Iene. The rider from Vasto is continuing to train, but the decision of CAS is clear: 4 years of disqualification of which he has served only one and a half. Unfortunately, there are no other levels of judgment, as confirmed by his lawyer Antonio De Renzis and the only possibility to see Andrea on the track would be the result of a kind of pardon.
The only one who can carry out such a solution would be the FIM president Jorge Viegas, who has expressed his solidarity with the rider. Andrea Iannone hopes it will happen, as he explained to us in an exclusive interview.
"I am very happy with what Viegas declared, I am pleased with what he said and I know well what his thoughts are, he has always reiterated that he believes in my innocence - says Andrea - I hope that as president of the Federation, for all riders and for our sport, he can do something about me. What happened to me today can happen to another tomorrow and is an incredible threat. We cannot allow WADA to have this power that you cannot fight against. If you do any type of checks, such as that of the hair which is the most thorough, and they are negative, you demonstrate that you are extraneous to the affair, the fact that you did not take that substance intentionally, and all this is not enough, then it means that we do not have the possibility to fight. WADA decides what it wants and this is a threat to sport and especially to ours. I hope that our president will do something to change this situation ”.
Did you speak directly to Viegas?
“Yes, I have been to Geneva and he is very sorry because he knows all the documentation and our trial. It is impossible not to take into consideration all the scientific arguments presented and talk about a receipt which is not proof. A dinner receipt is not attributable to any piece of meat, it is impossible to do so. Instead we only talked about that, they had already decided that I would get 4 years because they could not lose another process for food contamination ”.
What are you doing in this period? I saw you have been riding a motorbike.
“I do it and I will continue to do it, I go on the bike, I am fast and happy, it seems to me that I have never stopped. I have been to Misano and in a while I will go to Mugello, bikes are my life and I will continue to ride them, I cannot do without them. Obviously, it hurts a lot to go into the paddock and see my rivals always racing while I can't do it anymore. What has been done is simply not justice ”.
Does it hurt even more to see the Aprilia go so fast?
“I am very happy for them and their progress, I think they deserve it. We had started a long journey together in 2019 and now we are starting to see the fruits, it makes me happy to have put them on the right path ".
The original disqualification, that of 18 months, would expire in 20 days. Have you ever regretted making the appeal?
"It's not true that if I hadn't done it, WADA wouldn't have done what they did. They asked for four years of disqualification from day one and have always appealed in these cases. I suffer a lot, but I’m not giving up and I’m going on ”.
Let's have a dream: Viegas manages to get a reduction of the penalty, but all the places in the MotoGP are filled…
“We mustn’t think about MotoGP, let's see what he can do first. And when you are on the pitch, you can play ”.
What is your alternative to MotoGP?
“I've always had a passion for the catering business, I like it and it distracts me, but the most important thing is bikes and we'll do something”.
How do you feel seeing Aleix Espargarò go so fast?
"I'm very happy for him and for Aprilia, even if I'm not there, I feel part of this project. Aleix has been there for many years, Massimo Rivola has improved the situation a lot and Romano Albesiano can devote himself more to the technical part and I have worked a lot with them, I left a lot of information and they told me that my direction works. I am proud and I wish everyone to go faster and faster ”.
Have you ever thought about getting back on track in two and a half years, that is, when the disqualification expires?
“It's too early to talk about it and you have to live in the present. If I could get back on the bike now I would feel like doing it and well, because when I ride I have good sensations and I go very fast. In Misano I went faster than ever on a road bike, I'm training, but I don't like thinking about what will happen in two years. It would be detrimental to do so ”.