Professional cyclists caught using motors in their bikes face a sixth-month suspension and a fine of 200,000 Swiss Francs (CHF) under new regulations brought in by the sport’s governing body, the UCI.
Under clause 12.1.013, teams and riders “have the duty to use bikes with all approved components, measures and weighing a stipulated”. Only UCI approved improvements, such as the use of disc brakes, are allowed.
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As reported in Spanish newspaper AS and Italy’s Gazzetta dello Sport, riders face immediate disqualification and a fine from CHF 20,000 to CHF 200,000, while teams could be fined up to CHF 1,000,000.
The report by Cycling’s Independent Reform Commission made explicit reference to motorised doping when released in March, something which UCI president Brian Cookson needs to be investigated.
“The International Cycling Union takes very seriously the issue of technological doping, such as the ability to hide and make a profit from the use of electric motors,” Cookson is quoted as saying in AS. “The CIRC report confirms the need to act decisively”
Cookson confirmed that spot-checks were carried out on bikes during Paris-Nice and Milan San-Remo with no irregularities found.
“We plan to further test on other machines throughout the international calendar,” Cookson added.
Accusations of motorised doping have been going around for years, with the below video showing how a powered bike may work, and then there was what happened when Ryder Hesjedal fell off his bike at last year’s Vuelta a España.
Both AS and Gazzetta report that the UCI has abandoned its use of an expensive scanner, which cost €60,000 per rental, in favour of using probes to detect motors.
One expert told Gazzetta that the UCI has the power to take apart the bikes, as well as check bikes from the team car, as a rider may switch from a motorised bike in the final stages of a race.