UCI carries out 1,300 ‘rigorous’ motor doping tests at Giro d’Italia 2019

The governing body used magnetic scanning and X-ray technology during the three weeks

(Image credit: AFP/Getty Images)

The UCI has revealed it carried out more than 1,300 ‘rigorous’ motor doping tests during the 2019 Giro d’Italia.

Cycling’s international governing body says it hopes to ensure fans’ confidence in rider performances by using magnetic scanning and X-ray technology to monitor bikes.

During the three weeks of the Giro, 1,312 tests were carried out before stages using magnetic scanners and a further 113 X-ray tests were held at the finish lines.

All the tests came back negative.

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UCI president David Lappartient said: “Since last year, we have at our disposal a robust set of methods to counter the risks of technological fraud that allows us to check bikes at the start and finish lines.

“Research projects are continuing and shall enable us to be equipped with new technologies that can monitor equipment anytime during the competitions.

“We’re aiming to ensure that the cycling community has confidence in the performances of our athletes.”

Officials tested between four and 12 bikes after each stage with X-ray machines, including those of the stage winner and the pink jersey holder.

The UCI is now developing a new tracker which would be fitted to every bike in the peloton and would detect hidden motors at any points during a race.

A test was carried out at the 2018 Tour de France and the trackers could be rolled out next year.

Improvements will also be made to the magnetic scanning tablets testers currently use for next year.

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The UCI also recently announced it had tested 117 riders for tramadol after it unilaterally banned the painkiller in professional cycling.

The UCI banned the drug earlier this year on “medical grounds,” as the World Anti-Doping Agency looked no closer to adding the substance to it’s prohibited list.

All tests carried out returned negative results.

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.