Cycling Has Moved From Actual Doping To 'Mechanical Doping'

Cycling Has Moved From Actual Doping to 'Mechanical Doping'

After a century of pumping themselves full of all sorts of performance-enhancing (and other!) drugs, it appears that at least one pro cyclist has found an easier way to cheat: hiding a motor inside the bicycle frame. The Union Cycliste International (UCI), cycling's governing body, confirmed reports yesterday that it found a motorised bicycle being used by one of the competitors in the cyclocross World Championships on Saturday. The rider was Femke Van den Driessche, a 19-year-old Belgian cyclocross star.

In a press conference today, UCI President Brian Cookson only confirmed the existence of a motor: "It is no secret that a motor was found...we believe that it was indeed technological doping."

According to a newspaper report, the UCI used some kind of radio-frequency-detecting tablet to examine the bike, before removing the bottom bracket, and finding a motor hidden inside.

It's a big day for cycling: the sport has famously had its problems with cheating, and 'technological doping' has been an urban legend for years. With electric bike tech advancing fast, and the margins in road racing so tight, people have been accused for years, although nothing's ever come close to being proven.

For her part, Van den Driessche says the bike belonged to a friend, and mistakenly found its way into her race-day bike lineup. The UCI will be investigating thoroughly, but whether it turns out to be an innocent mistake or not, it's clear that mechanical doping is a real thing now.

[Cycling News]



    Yeah, she accidentally took a friend's bike, that looks exactly the same as her bikes, to the world championship.

    Yeah. That happens.

    Innocent mistake? lol.

    Yeah, I'm somehow using my friends bike by accident for this race instead of my highly specialised racing bike and I didn't notice. Oh, you say there is a motor in it too?

    Why the hell haven't they shown a picture of the motor, or at least explained where, in the frame/wheel the thing was? I'm not seeing a motor housing that would be big enough to hide a motor, let alone produce the kind of power she would need to make a difference.

      Have a look here, it should explain it a lot more. Motors of this size are common, just new to find them inside a bike frame! Also, they just mainly mean that you font have to pedal as fast, giving you more stamina for the longer races.

        Thanks for that.
        Still though, the battery and motor would add a bit of weight and the torque from that design/connection to the hub, would make it a big stretch to make it worth using in a championship race No?

        Last edited 02/02/16 9:56 am

      1st the claimed motorized bike was a training partners bike used. the partner could use it to set a rhythm to push the athlete.
      2nd of course it would look the same as the basic frame was supplied by the sponsor.

      3rd I have seen these type of motors in the seat post connecting to the bottom bracket. check it out here

        4th with the battery pack and motor the bike would have weighed significantly more than the race bike, you think the athlete would have spotted that if they had good intentions. Would be interesting to see if the battery etc was obvious like on a training bike or if it has been hidden deliberately.

    I seriously want this bike, I want a motor bike but i want to still look like I am riding. hehehehe

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now