Wilier has distanced itself from the alleged motorised doping incident at the women’s Under 23 Cyclocross World Championships in Belgium on Saturday, releasing a statement saying they only provide the frames to the Belgian team.
A Wilier cyclocross bike racked for 19-year old Femke Van den Driessche, the current Belgian and European Under-23 Women’s Champion, was detained by UCI inspectors who suspected “technological fraud”. The nature of this fraud has still not been announced by the UCI.
In its response, Wilier makes clear that it provides standard publicly-available frames to the team and that any device found in a frames is the result of modification after it left the Wilier factory. The company further emphasises its rejection of such means to gain advantage and its intention to take any necessary legal action to safeguard its reputation.
The full text of Wilier’s response is reproduced below:
This whole situation has come as a total shock to the Wilier factory. To be clear, we supplied only off-the-shelf framesets to this team, exactly the same frames as any member of the public can purchase from us. We did not supply them with complete bicycles.
To find that they have been used to cheat in this way is totally unacceptable and absolutely contrary to the basic values of our company, and against the principles of any sporting competition.
Everyone knows kits to fit concealed motors to a standard frame are readily available. However, I also want to make it clear that the Wilier factory does not, and never has supplied bikes or frames fitted with a concealed motor, not ever. Any bikes fitted with such technology have been modified by third parties with no involvement from the Wilier factory.
Our brand has 110 years of proud history and we work hard every day to produce quality products that are sold worldwide. To hear that a Wilier Triestina frame has been tampered with in order to cheat in international competition makes us disappointed and upset. To safeguard the good name of our company we will take any necessary legal action against the athlete and anyone responsible for this very serious matter.
In the meantime, like everyone else, we await official clarification from the UCI on exactly what was found inside the bike. When the full facts are known, it will be clear to everyone that the respected name of Wilier Triestina had no involvement in this matter.