Aigle - The
UCI global cycling governing body on Tuesday banned Femke Van den
Driessche of Belgium for six years for the first recorded case of using
hidden motors in racing.
The organisation hailed a new scanner which detected the electric
motor as a major breakthrough in the war against the sport's latest
The motor was found in a bike used by the Under-23 European
cyclo-cross champion at the Under-23 World Championships in Belgium in
The 19-year-old was banned for six years and fined $20 000. All of Van den Driessche's results from
October last year have been annulled and she was ordered to return all
prize money and medals.
The magnetic resonance scanner used by the UCI "quickly detects
motors, magnetic fields and solid objects concealed in a frame or
components," the a federation statement said.
The Vivax motor "was concealed along with a battery in the seat-tube.
It was controlled by a Bluetooth switch installed underneath the
handlebar tape," the statement added.
UCI president Brian Cookson said the new testing was a major
breakthrough which would become widespread, including at major tours.
"We have invested considerable resources in developing this new and
highly effective scanning technology and also in strengthening the
sanctions applicable to anyone found cheating in this way," he said.
"This case is a major victory for the UCI and all those fans, riders
and teams who want to be assured that we will keep this form of cheating
out of our sport."
The new method was used to test 274 bikes at the Track Cycling World
Championships in London, 216 at the Tour of Flanders, 232 at
Paris-Roubaix, and 173 at the U23 Liege-Bastogne-Liège race.
International riders association (CPA) president Gianni Bugno this month called for life bans for those caught with motors.