FDJ boss calls for tough sanctions for those caught mechanical doping


Marc Madiot, FDJ boss and head of the French Ligue National de Cyclisme (LNC), has called on the UCI to implement life bans for those convicted of mechanical doping, calling on cycling’s world governing body to step up its efforts to eliminate this new form of cheating from the sport.

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In a statement issued through the LNC, Madiot said that the scandal surrounding the discovery of a motor in a bike at the Cyclocross World Championship has affected the DNA of the sport, damaging the image of cyclists and, in the eyes of the press, making cycling seem more like a motorsport.

According to Madiot the only way to change this image is for the UCI to implement more stringent checks and penalties for those all those involved in mechanical doping, not just the rider.

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“We want greater transparency from our international authority on the actions to be undertaken. We demand, in the shortest possible time, systematic controls and strengthening sanctions, suspension for life, against all those involved in these scams. No one imagines that a rider can act alone.”

Femke Van Den Driessche

The discovery of a bike in Femke Van Den Driessche’s bike has prompted weeks of discussions (Photo: Watson)

The UCI has already been stepping up its efforts to detect mechanical doping, checking the bikes of 90 riders at the recent La Mediterraneenne race in the south of France.

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UCI president Brian Cookson has also echoed Madiot’s sentiments, saying that mechanical doping poses a serious threat to the image of the sport, and has promises to do all that’s necessary to stamp out the practice.

“Clearly this is something that is a threat to our sport and we are looking now at trialling new methods of detection that are less invasive, so you don’t have to take the bike apart, so we can check more bikes before the start.

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“If it becomes necessary to check every single bike for every single rider for every single race and all the spare bikes as well then maybe we will have to do that. These are processes and procedures that we are considering very actively now.”

  • Stevo

    A well thought-out, balanced opinion is a wonderful thing.

  • ummm…

    there is no difference. you just want there to be. or the industry wants there to be. The cyclist is using his body THAT HE JUST MODIFIED WITH PHARMAS to go faster. In some cases painkillers have large effect. I just rode on some the other day. Makes a huge difference. Thats why pros take pharmas. But because instead of feeding the engine directly some people decide to add an engine to their bike you say there is less honor. Would you say there is a similar effect? And isnt the effect what really matters independent of the method?

  • sandman69

    I have thought about this and the punishments for a long time and my opinion on this is…..yeah fuck em!

  • Stevo

    I don’t know. What has his nationality got to do with it?

  • David Kerry

    Stevo .. So why dosent this French fool say anything about all the French dopers of the last 20 years including himself.. Why open his mouth after 20 + years of cheating!!

  • David Kerry

    Marc madiot!! What a total hypocrite. So all those doped up French cyclist including himself is OK yet you should get a life time ban for mechanical doping!! Madiot you are a fool!!

  • blemcooper

    Perhaps “work more” is a better way of putting it.

    With oxygen vector drugs, you don’t need to “work more” to build a bigger gas tank, while recovery drugs let you “work more” to build the bigger gas tank and a bigger engine.

    With motor doping, you get a bigger gas tank AND a bigger engine without having to “work more”.

    The way I see it, EPO and motor doping are more alike in the sense that you get their advantages on race day “for free”, while with recovery drugs, you get the advantages on race day by being able to work more/harder for it before race day.

    Or analogizing it to cheating in the stock market, it’s like the difference between giving someone cocaine in exchange for insider information and consuming cocaine yourself so you can stay awake to do more research into companies and the market. Both can result in you having more/better information over competitors, both are illegal and cheating, but in different ways.

  • Stevo

    I think it is necessary to distinguish between work in the sense of training effort required to reach a certain level of fitness, and work in the sense of objectively measurable output.

    All the drugs you mention enable the rider to “work harder” in terms of power/energy output at the pedals, and they have no effect on the power output required to ride at a given speed. In that respect they are all fundamentally different from motor doping.

  • blemcooper

    Within “traditional” doping, there are subtle, but significant differences in what substances do for the doper. Stuff like testosterone let you train/work harder than you otherwise could (due to injury and time to recover). Stuff like EPO (and motors) let you work less to reach goals/levels, or work the same but reach higher goals/levels.

    It’s clear to me that there is a difference between cheating that allows you to work harder and cheating that allows you to work less.

    Both are still cheating, especially if you do both types, worthy of great scorn and punishment, but they are different taken individually.

  • Stevo

    Because that isn’t quite so black and white as mechanical doping? For a start, riders can have illegal substances in their bodies through no fault of their own, and testing isn’t necessarily 100% reliable. Also, what is/isn’t illegal isn’t always clear-cut.

    And maybe people feel that “traditional” doping isn’t quite so outrageous, since it is still the rider doing the work?

  • So why not Life bans for those caught taking EPO etc ? #JustWonderng