A hidden motor was discovered in a bike at the UCI Cyclocross World Championships this past weekend. The offending rider was Femke Van den Driessche (Team Kleur op Maat).
This is outstanding as the first confirmed case of motor doping, also refered to by some as “technological doping” or “mechanical doping.” There is some dispute about whether or not the bike was used during the race, but regardless, the bike was confiscated from a race pit and was available for race use.
“It is no secret that a motor was found,” Cookson said during a press conference held ahead of Sunday’s racing programme in Zolder. “We believe that it was indeed technological doping.”
Following the press conference, Cookson later tweeted his thoughts. “Technological fraud is unacceptable. We want the minority who may consider cheating to know that, increasingly,” he wrote. “There is no place to hide, and sooner or later they will pay for the damage they’re causing to our sport.”
If you’re interested in more information on what this technology looks like and how it works, this grainy Youtube video might help clear things up:
Whether or not this was in fact Femke Van den Driessche’s bike, the fact is that someone out there was motor doping. While hopefully this phenomenon never makes its way to mountain biking, it would be naive to think that mountain bike racing will forever be immune to mechanical doping.
So what do you think about motor doping? What should the punishment be for a racer found guilty of mechanical doping? Is there any way that we can keep motors out of mountain bike racing?