End of investigation of mechanical doping due to lack of evidence

"At 99% there are no engines in the peloton," said former rider Jean-Christophe Péraud. The last case was that of Van den Driessche in 2016.


Case closed. The UCI ends its investigation into mechanical doping in cycling for lack of evidence. According to the L'Équipe newspaper, the French Financial Prosecutor's Office closed an investigation into the use of bicycle engines in racing that began in 2017 after detecting the first evidence of mechanical doping in the mount of Femke Van den Driessche.

Since then, the UCI has not found any type of mechanical doping, through the installation of a small motor, in any competition bicycle, so it has decided to end the investigation due to the lack of evidence. There was much speculation in recent years about this possibility, which pointed to the Hungarian Istvan Varjas as the responsible inventor of the hidden engines.

Among the many accusations of the last decade that pointed to the use of motors by top-level cyclists, stands out the one received by Fabian Cancellara to win the 2010 Paris-Roubaix, something that could never be proven and that the Swiss denied in repeatedly. Since that time, the UCI has carried out thousands of controls to detect the installation of engines on bicycles, through scanners and thermal cameras, without any success, until the aforementioned case of Van den Driessche in the 2016 Cyclocross World Cups.

After investing time and money in improving the detection system, in 2018 a step back was taken in the Tour de France as a false positive of mechanical doping was created due to a manufacturing defect in the pedals of some riders, so it was They stopped using thermal cameras and X-ray scanners. "With 99% certainty, there are no engines hidden in the platoon," said Jean-Christophe Péraud, who was a member of the UCI in the fight against technological fraud in cycling. Case closed ...



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