Italian MotoGP rider Andrea Iannone will take his fight against an 18-month doping suspension to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) but could find himself banned for an extended period if the World Anti-Doping Agency is successful in its own appeal.
The sport's governing body FIM imposed the punishment after Iannone tested positive for the banned steroid Drostanolone in a urine sample at the Malaysian Grand Prix on Nov. 3. The suspension will run until June 16, 2021.
The 30-year-old Iannone, who has a contract with Aprilia until the end of the 2020 season, has maintained his innocence and said he ingested the banned substance accidentally through contaminated meat.
Iannone has filed an appeal to have the decision annulled, while WADA has requested for the punishment to be replaced with a four-year suspension for the rider.
"A procedural timetable is being established for the filing of the written submissions," CAS said in a statement.
"No hearing date has been fixed yet."
Iannone, nicknamed 'The Maniac", joined Aprilia in 2018 but struggled to match team mate Aleix Espargaro for the majority of last season.
The 2020 MotoGP season has yet to start due to the coronavirus pandemic. The organisers are hoping to start with a race at the Jerez circuit in southern Spain on July 19.