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November 18, 2017
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  • Will


  • Rusty Gramm

    life ban for rider, 6 month ban and $500,000 fine for team. end of problem.

    • NJDr

      Severity of penalty will never be ‘end of problem’. People still murder other people and traffic drugs in jurisdictions where such activities, if caught, carry the death penalty. Sure there needs to be strong sanctions but if people believe it is inevitable they will get caught if they cheat – i.e. there are ubiquitous controls – then the potential benefits are outweighed by the costs.

    • Dan

      Completely agreed on that being the punishment, but it’s definitely not the end of the problem. Truly a dark day for cycling.

    • Samaway

      Far too simple

    • Medumbdumb

      How about we execute them?

    • Dave

      If the suspension of the Belgian women’s national team applies only to cyclocross and not to other forms of cycling the national team participates in, it needs to be forward-dated to cover a period ending the day after next year’s world championships finish.

      To suspend them for what is the cyclocross off-season without also covering road, track and MTB would make it a slap on the wrist with a wet lettuce leaf.

  • Torontoflatlander

    Absolutely stunned. Such a young rider and such an irresponsible team.

    • Dave

      19 year olds are not kids, she’s old enough to know the difference between right and wrong.

  • Mo

    I hope someone picks up the bike and show us a demonstration on how it works. The best demonstration I have seen was from that Lemond clip. However, the bottom bracket was too obvious and the battery had some noise to it. This should be interesting.

    • Dave

      The ‘more details emerge’ story says that the UCI officials went to the Belgian pit during the first lap of the race, picked out that bike and got a hit with their electronic inspection equipment. Reading between the lines, that sounds like the result of someone tipping them off, not a random inspection.

  • Belgium Bike

    I do think she is pushed into this more from parents, coach,… not so much team or sponsors. It is almost impossible to have that much mechanical skills and pull this off without anybody knowing about it. On the other hand this is the best thing that could happen against mechanical doping. Now its proven you can’t hide it and its easy to find. Most of the athletes will be to scared now to use it. So back to the good old EPO for them :)

    • Shane Stokes

      Her dad said that…but he would, wouldn’t he? I think we need to take what he says with a pinch of salt, not least because his son/her brother is serving a ban for EPO

      • A

        Shane that’s quite a classless comment. You should think about revising it.

        • Faz

          I agree with Shane – nothing wrong with stating the bleeding obvious.

          • Dave

            Same here.

            If he was serious, he would have taken the corroborating evidence to the cycling federation or the UCI instead of going straight to the media.

        • Gern Blanston

          how is it classless? The truth hurts bro. You’re probably another nutcase who defended Armstrong as well.

    • jules

      give me a break

    • mv1in20

      It’s super tight to get into the pit area at World’s. You need photo id from the UCI as an official team member. I’m pretty sure that a random fan of hers doesn’t have a Belgian team mechanic/soigneur/medic id – it was someone close to her. Team staff can’t even take their own personal asthma puffer into the pit area without the puffer being then declared effectively in possession of the attached rider.

    • grasspress

      naturally, the counter-stories and alibis are coming. as you say, let’s wait and see where this goes. still, it’s a sad day (again) in the pro bike ranks.

    • Dave


  • Flanders

    A person who dopes is cynical? I wonder if we’ll hear this rider saying something akin to ‘I don’t prepare the bikes, I didn’t ask for one with a motor!’.

    • Cameron Harris

      I can just imagine the “What does this button do?” moment :-)

      • Femke

        I really liked the push-to-wheelie button, nothing in the UCI rules about that.

  • Nick Squillari

    Apology accepted for all the boo boys who said motors in bikes have never happened and ridiculed the UCI for check for them.

    • Belgium Bike

      Look back now to some old videos about it. Do you think different about certain riders? I know from a good source that a mechanic from a big pro team was mounting them. If one comes out you know 10 other did it as well.

      • Nick Squillari

        I’d have to ask why isn’t this good source doing the right thing and taking his intel to the authorities?

    • I think this is pretty relevant too. https://twitter.com/dwuori/status/693519947876597760

    • Dave

      I imagine that those who suggest that doping is the preserve of just men’s pro cycling because of the money involved will be keeping their heads down too.

  • Dierk H Woodard

    Wonder what gave it away? The rooster tail of dirt and mud as she wheelied up the hills?

    • Tzanchan77

      They accidentally left the gas cap open ‘-)

    • jules

      the fact she kept riding past everyone without pedalling and smoking an imaginary cigar?

    • TroothFairy


  • meh

    Why refer to it as “doping” when it’s nothing of the sort. That’s just retarded. It’s ‘cheating’, simple as that.

    • JBS

      (this is not a knock specific to CT, who are generally very good, but journalism in general)

      It’s very annoying how lazy some reporting is. Anything cheating related in cycling becomes something “doping”. Any scandal becomes something “-gate” (Watergate was the name of the bloody hotel, gate does not mean “scandal”; “chaingate” means Andy Schelck’s chain was used in a wire tap in Washington DC right?)! It comes back to the writer not trusting the reader to understand anything more than lazy shorthand.

      (Rant over, I haven’t had a ride today yet).

      • Dave

        ‘Mechanical doping’ was a term coined by Brian Cookson and used in official UCI communications. Journalists are right to use the same term used by the governing body.

        The ship sailed on the use of the something-gate names many years ago, no point trying to fight that battle after you’ve already lost.

        • JBS

          But where’s the challenge in mocking the UCI?

          I can’t agree that precedence excuses idiocy though.

        • Teezy

          Bike doping was actually coined years earlier by Greg Lemond. Of course, everyone laughed at him as this fit the “Crazy ‘ol Greg Lemond” narrative that Armstrong had so expertly and strategically created. People also laughed at him when he was talking about riders exceeding the possible limits of power output as a sign of doping.

          Makes me want to go back to his old interviews to catch what else he predicted.

        • meh

          Journalists are NOT “right to use the same term used by the governing body” if the term is completely retarded.

          If they were to “use it to mock the UCI”, they should write, “what the UCI refers to as . . .”.

          • Shane Stokes

            The term has been around since 2010 when first allegations of such behaviour emerged. You might not agree with the term, but it’s well established and widely understood.

            • meh

              The fact is, “well established and widely understood” doesn’t mean it’s not completely retarded. Anyone using the term is an ignorant sheep.

              • Shane Stokes

                Can I suggest you try mindfulness meditation?

                • meh

                  Can I suggest you try pulling your head out of your butt?

              • jules

                tell us what you really think

              • Marcus

                How about you go easy on your use of “retarded” as a pejorative?

                • meh

                  How about you stop being so pathetically retarded?

                  • Marcus

                    Wow, that was a real zinger. And it only took you 48 hours. Chapeau!

                    • meh

                      Unlike you, Champ, I don’t desperately monitor these comments in the hope I’ll get some attention. You see, unlike you, I’m not a pathetic loser.

  • awesometown

    please spell check a little harder, dudes. Lots of mistakes in this article.

  • sket

    I understand this is unprecedented, but what’s the likelihood of a team ban being imposed?

  • JBS

    The desire to win at all costs really has not bounds does it (unfortunately).

  • grasspress

    sad. but i’m happy this may be stopped in the ‘bud’.

  • Dave

    Why not also posted in the Ella section?

    Do we still think that only men cheat?

    • zosim

      I didn’t realise women were barred from the rest of the site

      • Dave

        Not suggesting they be banned, but simply that it should be tagged for Ella so it appears on that page as well as the main home page. Someone who has the Ella homepage bookmarked could completely miss this story!

  • Roger That

    Brian Cookson is now going to be very busy with his iPad. No more Candy Crush Saga for him.

    • CB

      Yes. Although from what I hear Cookson is more of a Kwazy Cupcakes guy.

  • Life ban for the rider for cheating and cancellation of the team’s licence as well.

    • Whammy

      How about they cancel the rest of the championships as well? A reaction that matches your outrage is not always so wise.

    • Dave

      You can’t cancel a national federation’s “licence” – and it will be interesting to see if the six month ban in the tech fraud rule is:
      (a) applied to a national team
      (b) holds up if applied and then appealed
      (c) will be applied to both the Belgian men’s and women’s teams, at just U23 or elite and juniors too, in just cyclocross or in all disciplines.

      • ZigaK

        Russian athletics federation got banned …

  • Rouleur1971

    Even when Lemond convincingly demonstrated a hidden motor last year, plenty of commentators said he was losing it, the idea was too far fetched and silly.The risks of getting caught were too great.

    I guess there will always be some people who underestimate the risks people are prepared to take to win bike races.

    • De Mac

      What does surprise me, is the fact that people are surprised at the lengths some people will go to, to win…

    • jules

      Lemond has been ridiculed about stuff that it turns out he was right about, more than once.

      • Dave

        Something which the wise noted when he did his motor demo last year.

        I’m still standing by my prediction that nobody of note would try it in the Tour de France, where the UCI was quite active in conducting inspections for motors last year.

        I’d love to find out what device they used to scan it and tag it for detailed inspection. Cookson was keeping schtum on that in his presser, but it will eventually get either leaked or revealed in the arbitration decision published when van den Driessche inevitably appeals to CAS if given any ban longer than a first-time doping offence.

        • jules

          there’s speculation they use a heat detector. I wonder also if careful observation of a rider’s progress in a race may reveal hints of auxiliary power. the obvious one is just a tip off from an incredulous team member/rival/associate

          • Dave

            L’Equipe says* that they are using an electromagnetic field detection system for their scans. According to the rider’s father**, the bike hadn’t been ridden yet so I would not expect it to give off any heat signature, let alone one detectable in an outside environment.

            Reading between the lines in the ‘more details’ story, I expect the UCI was tipped off by someone (probably a team member with a conscience) and the scan was only used to confirm that. Marching up to a team pit during the first lap of a CX race and inspecting bikes with a specialised device hardly says “random check” to me.

            * you would insert a pause for laughter here if starting a comment with “La Gazzetta dello Sport says…”
            ** insert a much longer pause for laughter than would apply even to any mention of La Gazzetta dello Sport.

            • jules

              interesting. although if the bike was laying idle, the motor wouldn’t have given off any electromagnetic radiation either, I’d say?

              I’m trying to sound knowledgeable there, but I’m stretching the limits of my knowledge..

              • Dave

                I would expect you could get a weak magnetic field (not radiation) just off the battery – more likely if it’s an automatic assist activated by the pedalling motion and not one activated by a button.

                An electrician’s leakage tester could well be all you would need.

                Not a problem if you open it up and find a normal EPS or Di2 system, but very suss on a bike with mechanical gear shifters.

  • Todd Singleton

    Lemond said it, got ridiculed. In the 80’s Jack Nicklaus said people would stop playing golf because 18 hole courses were too long, got ridiculed. Now bikes are found with motors and 12 hole courses are on the rise in the Northeast. Perhaps it’s time to start listening to the legendary sport professionals instead of the arm chair know-it-alls who analyze them, presenting their opinions as scripture.

    • A

      And Peter Brock got criticised by the ‘arm chair experts’ for his Polariser crystal.

  • Dave

    Having re-read the story this morning, I noticed this bit…

    “Although she began the race in Heusden-Zolder as one of the favourites, Van den Driessche ran into issues at the start, being unable to put her foot in the pedal …”

    Issues regarding pedalling wouldn’t have been a problem if she started the race on the e-moto instead of leaving it in the pits. Oops!

    • Dave

      That is, and always has been, an accepted form of the word, and still the primary form used in England.

    • jules

      this topic has really brought out the OCD people hasn’t it?

      • I really hope you’re being factious with that comment, if spelling correctly is something you think is truly a part of obsessive compulsive disorder.

        • jules

          you could have emailed them

          • Why would I do that?

            • jules

              so as not to draw out a boring discussion thread on spelling that detracts from everyone’s enjoyment of the topic at hand – i.e. motor doping.

              • Why reply to it then? You are only adding to your self defined problem.

                • jules

                  you gotta break a few eggs to make an omelette

                  • I feels that. Bacon & cheese hash browns well done rye toast? I’m buying.

                    • Dave

                      * feel

                • Dave

                  * self-defined

                  • Nope.

                  • Replies in comments sections of an article != the actual article. Standards of language are different when applied to different levels of writing.

            • Shane Stokes
        • Dave

          * facetious

          • That’s actually a completely different word. But nice try.

    • Shane Stokes
  • Rex

    Ban her for life. Or kill her. Either one.

  • Rex

    Her father defending her, uh uh, because they were just doing this cycling thing for fun and were going to take chances of using some fans bike, mmkay. Fuck you scum!


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November 18, 2017
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