The UCI’s Disciplinary Commission are being kept busy in the opening weeks of the 2016 season, with the governing body referring the motorised doping case from the Cyclocross World Championships to its Commission.
Belgian U23 rider Femke Van den Driessche faces the prospect of being the first cyclist to be banned for concealing a motor in her bike after an engine was found during the World Championships on January 30.
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Van den Driessche and her father deny that the motorised bike found in the pits belonged to her and, indeed, former professional Nico Van Muylder came forward in the following days to say the bike was his.
“On Saturday 30 January 2016, a concealed engine was discovered in a bike following checks at the Women Under 23 race of the 2016 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships,” a statement from the UCI reads.
“Pursuant to the UCI Regulations related to technological fraud, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has today referred the case to the Disciplinary Commission which will hear all relevant parties in the weeks to come.
“Working independently from the UCI, the Disciplinary Commission is the body in charge of imposing sanctions for breaches of the UCI Regulations.”
If found in breach of the UCI rules, Van den Driessche faces a minimum six-month ban and fine of 20,000 Swiss Francs.
The UCI says it will not comment further on the matter while the investigation and disciplinary procedure is ongoing.
On Tuesday, the Disciplinary Commission ruled that it couldn’t suspend the Katusha team for failing two drugs tests in a 12 month period, stating that Luca Paolini’s cocaine use was recreational and not performance enhancing.