The British Road National Championships have seen some of the first testing for motorised doping outside the men’s and women’s WorldTours, with British Cycling commissaires scanning bikes for motors at today’s time trial.
The method used to detect motorised doping (referred to as technological fraud by the UCI) uses a magnetometer attached to an iPad. This takes an operator about a minute to scan each bike, and can show solid areas within the frame, wheels, groupset and other components that could signify the presence of a motor and can then be investigated further if necessary.
“British Cycling is one of the first national federations to respond to this form of cheating and we are taking our responsibility very seriously. The National Road Race Championships was the ideal first event to undertake testing of the new technology,” said Jonny Clay, British Cycling’s cyclesport and membership director.
“While technical fraud is extremely rare, we need to ensure that we are taking action in the fight against all forms of cheating and the new scanning method is a real step forward, especially given that it can be done so quickly. We will soon roll out the testing across other disciplines.”
There has only been one confirmed case of motorised doping, with Belgian rider Femke Van den Driessche given a six-year ban and £14,000 fine for having a motor in her spare bike at the 2016 Cyclocross World Championships, although French and Italian journalists have claimed that motors were also used in Strade Bianche and the Coppi e Bartali stage race in March.