The 2019/20 off-season saga of Andrea Iannone–he failed a post race drug test last year in Malaysia and remains suspended from any FIM sanctioned racing–illustrates two things very well:
First that the modern off-season, with controlled testing including a MotoGP rider test ban, is blatantly banal. Iannone’s case is probably the lone colorful incident of the off-season.
The second is just a confirmation that Italian partisanship is still a bedrock of Italian society and media even in 2020. Nearly every single day stories on the Iannone/WADA/FIM saga are published in Italy with seemingly anyone from Aprilia’s CEO to Iannone’s brother weighing in on the subject.
Meanwhile, in non-Italian locales, that a rider who had a seemingly long list of activities he was passionate about before racing (Iannone had cosmetic surgery on his face before a major test and was unable to ride at a test last season) might be out of a job isn’t really a hot button/water cooler issue.