European Championships Cyclocross 2015 women youth
  • ebbe

    So, now UCI do not have to prove anything and still gets what they wanted, merely by threatening?
    And the worldwide cycling community is left with absolutely no answer to the question “What did actually happen?”.

    • MadBlack

      What happened? She cheated with a motor in her bike and got caught. Fairly obvious if you ask me as a member of the cycling community.

      • ebbe

        I assume you have seen some actual proof of her using a motorised bike in a race? Or at least some proof that conclusively rules out the explanation given? Without speculation, deduction, (dis)belief, hearsay, emotion or anger. Just actual irrefutable facts.

        What, you don’t? So how can you be so sure what happened? Oh wait, that’s why we in the civilised modern world have a justice system operating under the doctrine “innocent till proven guilty”… To find out what actually happened. ;-)

        • The Ocelot

          It doesn’t matter if she used the bike or not – the rules state that all equipment in the pit area must also adhere to the technical guidelines. The bike being present in the pit at all, which is clearly the case as agreed by all parties, means she/her team broke the rules.

          • ebbe

            It does matter. Yes, having a non-compliant bike in the pits is against “the rules” but you have to also realise these rules have just been drafted recently. In a real court case, a judge would look at the intention of these rules (which in this case is clearly a “fallback” article), and how they have been read in other cases. A real court case might even conclude that this particular rule is un-enforcable. Now, we will never know. Read http://inrng.com/2016/02/the-grey-area/ for a better understanding.

            Or, imagine this scenario: We all know the French hate team Sky with all their heart. Now, one sly French “supporter” goes out and buys a Pinarello Dogma in the proper frame size, puts a motor in it (less than a days work for a mechanic with the proper experience), sticks a “Froome” name tag on it (dead easy), and parks it next to the team Sky bus (which is publicly accessible as you know). He then calls the UCI with an anonymous tip, and we have a riot on our hands which is 100x times bigger.

            Of course, team Sky would explain that it’s not their bike. They would host a press conference and say: “Just compare it to the bikes Froome has ridden, and you’ll surely find differences”, and then go on to point out all the differences. They never saw or touched it before. There are no finger prints of any of the mechanics or riders on it. It has a wrong frame serial number. There is no transponder on it. There’s a 3mm difference in saddle height. It was never even ridden… Etc. Would you respond with “It doesn’t matter – the rules are such and such”? A certain French commentator probably would (you know who I’m talking about). But if he did, he’d be dead wrong: Froome would be innocent of any wrongdoing, regardless of what the rules say or don’t say. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why we have a justice system (one apart from internet fora) in most civilised modern countries: To find out what really happened. Not merely to “enforce any rule that happens to be in a book, with an iron fist”.

            Now I’m not saying Van Den Driessche is completely or partially innocent, because I don’t know. When I read on Twitter that her father operates an (amateur) “carbon frame repair shop” it certainly raised some massive question marks with me… But I’d like to know what actually happened, and for that… *all the facts* are needed. Not just some second hand facts you read on Twitter and Facebook. Emotion is the last thing we need.

            • Jon Bayley

              Sky would have an inventory of bikes including serial numbers I’m sure. If she had sold the bike then either her or the person who bought it would probably be able to show some sort of transfer of money. Either withdrawal of cash or bank transfer.

              He would also be able to show the transaction for buying the motor (I assume they are not cheap) or having paid someone else to fit it.

              • ebbe

                Thank you Jon, that is precisely my point: You can’t just say “The facts are irrelevant, because the rules are such and such”. If the facts would be presented before a court judge, we would know. The facts you’re mentioning would either come out, or would prove to be non-existent. Now, we’ll possibly never know what exactly happened, AND we’ve missed a chance to possibly improve the rule book. I’d still like to see UCI disclose their facts, if only for the benefit of their own credibility.

              • Dave

                The ‘leave a bike by the bus’ scenario is not remotely plausible at a professional event.

            • Chris

              If you’re caught in an exam with cheat notes taped to your arm, it doesn’t matter if you actually referred to them. Give it up.

            • Steve S

              I agree with you completely. On one hand there’s a huge stench about this – she sells a bike to a friend, he fits a motor but makes no other changes, the bike is taken to an event she is in, a mechanic who racks it doesn’t notice it weighs 3kg more and has a lower centre of gravity than the other identical bikes, and the new owner doesn’t report the bike missing or go looking for it… yeah, really? But at the same time this should be investigated to the end so we know for sure what went on and who was involved, and Team Sky (who I’m a fan of) would definitely have got different treatment than the 19 year old girl.

              And these days when every employer does a google / linkedin / Facebook search of job applicants, this stench is going to stay with her forever. While at the same time we still hero worship people we know to have taken PEDs in the past and we still give temporary bans to people who get caught.

        • David_Streever_CT

          no, the more plausible explanation is that she sold the bike to a friend, who decided to install a motor in the frame, and coincidentally kept identical setup and geometry, such that it was indistinguishable to her team and mechanics, which got coincidentally mixed up with her actual bikes in the pits.

          • ebbe

            How do you know the setup and geometry are the same? That’s exactly the kind of proof a real court case should uncover. That’s exactly what is missing now. Now, we don’t know. Or do you? If so, please present your proof so we can all learn ;-)

          • Rodrigo Diaz

            @ ebbe – Nah, not really. The most plausible explanation to me is that she had used this bike before without penalty. She kept it close and “in reserve” for the WCs and got nabbed by the strict liability issue regarding the presence of the bike.

            Are my suspicions unjustifiable? I checked her uphill splits at Koppenbercross… she’s there putting 10 seconds up the hill on front-row starters while she’s hardly considered to be the strongest rider in any other capacity. At the time, other racers thought this was unbelievable. So you target a suspicious rider and nab her…

            https://cyclocrossrider.com/racing/worlds-motor-investigation

            As for the result of the investigation -I don’t know in your jurisdiction, but in mine accepting a penalty and/or paying a fine (e.g. traffic) is implicit acceptance of guilt. In legal terms it’s called nolo contendere. Not contesting the charges. And since we’re dealing with legal systems, surely you understand that the burden of proof in civil cases are much different than those in criminal cases. Which is why strict liability applies here, but not in a murder investigation where you need to prove “beyond reasonable doubt” in most civilized countries.

            • ebbe

              This is not a civil, nor a criminal case. It’s a UCI hearing. The UCI is not a legal entity. And if they were, they’d have no legal jurisdiction in Belgium. Or van you explain how a “crime” committed in Belgium ends up in a court in Switzerland? ;-)

              In Belgium, doping (real drug-doping) is criminal justice, by the way. But again: UCI sanctions are not not “legal” sanctions in the same way a real judge in a real court can decide on.

              Also, you should probably look up the “Chilling Effect” on wikipedia

              • Rodrigo Diaz

                Of course they are not criminally binding. That is precisely what makes them a civil case. Almost all contractual disputes are of this type. Civil law by definition deals with the disputes and disagreements between people and organizations, in this case specifically with regard to contracts and permits. And usually outside of tribunals, but they can use recognized arbitrators. If this doesn’t sound like the UCI to you then I’m curious about how you would classify the relationship between the licensing body and its license members.

                I understand the chilling effect, and the variants such as SLAPP suit in other contexts. But I’m sure you also understand that saying “ok, I won’t fight it and accept punishment” is exactly that – even if you try to sugar coat it by saying “poor me can’t fight this unfairness”.

                I do understand you’re trying to shift the agreed burden of proof (i.e. strict liability) to physical proof that the rider was actually winning a race on a motorized bike. Unfortunately for her (and your argument), that is not the stipulated standard. Same as if you were taking Meldonium and you “didn’t know” it was now forbidden or how the ephedrine got in your body because your sister gave you “cold medicine” before your track championships. Sure you can fight it and get a reduction if you have a good argument, but prima facie the strict liability principle applies.

                • ebbe

                  No, what you fail to understand is that there is not even a judge here, and it’s not a legal case at all. It’s a hearing before a committee. See my other comment here https://cyclingtips.com/2016/03/van-den-driessche-quits-cyclocross-abandons-defence-against-mechanical-doping-allegations/#comment-2569442227 – Again: How else do you explain that the hearing is in Switzerland while the “crime” was committed in Belgium by a Belgian national? That’s virtually impossible in any legal justice system.

                  No. Seeing as a UCI hearing is not a court case, she actually just said: “I won’t play”. You can’t say that to a judge (you could not show up in person, but your attorney would still defend you). You can say “I won’t play” to some committee just fine. Which is exactly what this committee is: Some committee.

                  No. I’m hoping the UCI will produce proof that she used the non-compliant bike in a race. Want to compare it to any drug? That would be a positive blood or urine test. Yes, retro-testing is difficult with a motor in a bike, which is why the UCI made the “fallback” rule, specifically for this. But as I’ve argued in other comments, we don’t know whether that rule would hold up in a real court. It hasn’t so far, because this rule has never been tested in a court, since it’s new. Remember: UCI rules are merely rules, NOT law. If you don’t play by their rules, you can’t enter their races. But they can’t send you to jail of make you perform community service. The worst they can do is not allow you in their races ever again = Take away your license. They can’t even ban you from non-UCI races. If I want to organise a race with Lance Armstrong and Femke Van Den Driessche in it, in my own back yard, there’s nothing the UCI can do to stop that.

                  • Rodrigo Diaz

                    I never argued that this was a court case. Simply that this was covered under civil law, and as such usually the first step in resolution is covered internally. So first you detect a violation, the violation is resolved internally. If the sanctioned party doesn’t agree it can be taken to arbitration as stipulated in the agreement. Further disagreement goes upstream… I assume to CAS in this case. But this didn’t happen, on step 2 she can just take her punishment and go home. Which is exactlyshe did.

                    So far no problem. As to why, maybe she can’t cover the cost. Or she doesn’t want to involve her family or mechanics as you had argued against in a previous discussion. Maybe she doesn’t want further investigation to find out exactly in which races she cheated and who assited what. And yes, these are not laws at all, simply rules (as in any contract or agreement, as long as they fulfill the laws of the land). I never argued she was under criminal fault – which is exactly why this is bound by a civil agreement: “you comply with UCI rules, you can race in UCI rules”

                    I don’t even understand why we are discussing this. The only thing the UCI can do to you is ban your participation in UCI events and organizational membership. Which is what happened. End of story. She can organize her unsactioned event or participate in them. It’s not even a WADA violation. She probably can take cross-country running if she wishes. I’m ok with that.

                    And you’re wrong regarding the analogy to doping violations. Hematocrit limits and the more evolved blood passport are the same as positive blood or urine test. And yet we still have many cases of racers suspended for “health” reasons with an HCT of 50%+ or blood passport violations which could hint autologus blood transfusion – which doesn’t test positive for any substance.

                    The UCI doesn’t need to prove that she used a motorized bike. She got the maximums suspension and won’t contest it. Sure, I would like to know what type of bike it was, how it was procured, who managed it, when it was used (heck, you could even strip those results), etc. This is simply more onerous to the UCI since the athlete already accepted the ban. I’d rather they spend more time and resources in the prevention of cheating.

                    So for those still reading: UCI-only rules are not laws. You can’t go to jail from them. Your sanctions only cover UCI-membership privileges, and he burden of proof for different violations is different and sometimes unclear, but in no way they imply that you specifically need to prove that someone used a motorbike on a race.

                    • ebbe

                      It’s not covered under any law at all. It’s covered under UCI rules, which are by no means law. It’s simpel: UCI determines whether you gat a license to race (or coach, or manage). That’s their one and only leverage on you as a rider. If they offer you 2 years suspension for EPO, you accept that because you want a new license after that 2 years, not because the law wants you to settle before going before a court judge.

                      FYI: Belgian law specifically does not cover “mechanical doping” at all, as was discussed all over the Belgian news papers. However, normal (drugs) doping is criminal law in Belgium, not civil. So you’re wrong on two accounts here.

                      Why we are discussing this? You tell me, you replied to my (quite simple) comment. I’m merely saying it would benefit the UCI’s credibility to present facts to the public quickly, and that the rules can never just be interpreted to the letter without any consideration of facts or circumstances not covered in these rules. These rules are simply (probably) not water-proof. They are new, untested, and might not even hold up in a real court, if tested in a real criminal (or civil, but probably not in Belgium) case. And there’s nothing wrong with me saying that, because it’s true. If you don’t see why we’re discussing this, then just stop replying, or don’t reply in the first place. It really is that simple, Rodrigo ;-)

                    • Rodrigo Diaz

                      Now that’s the actual issue. Great!

                      So let’s go on this: mechanical doping is not a crime and you can’t be criminally prosecuted anywhere I know (doping is in some places in Europe, but this is different). UCI’s license are civil agreements (maybe this is a language issue?

                      You cite that the rules are not waterproof…with no proof. And the first possible test is simply avoided by the affected party. It will never be tested in a real criminal system because it never has been a criminal issue – that’s the part that I referred to as “why we are even discussing this”. Never will a sports cheating violation be as serious as homicide – and it shouldn’t be treated as such. So it will never go to a jury of 12 peers, if you will. At most it will go to lawyers and arbitrators, and maybe later a judge… which is precisely how civil disputes are resolved.

                      As for you saying that is “true” that the rules wouldn’t hold up in a real court – far from the truth, it’s merely your opinion. But hey, maybe you’re really an experienced lawyer and I’m not seeing through that. In that case you should volunteer to take Van den Driessche’s case and mount a defence since you think the case is so flimsy. Bonus, you’ll probably force the UCI to be more thorough like what happened after so many failed doping investigations. It really is that simple – or you’re simply playing devil’s advocate, ebbe :-).

                    • Rodrigo Diaz

                      Now that’s the actual issue. Great!

                      So let’s go on this: mechanical doping is not a crime and you can’t be criminally prosecuted anywhere I know (doping is in some places in Europe, but this is different). UCI’s license are civil agreements (maybe this is a language issue?

                      You cite that the rules are not waterproof…with no proof. And the first possible test is simply avoided by the affected party. It will never be tested in a real criminal system because it never has been a criminal issue – that’s the part that I referred to as “why we are even discussing this”. Never will a sports cheating violation be as serious as homicide – and it shouldn’t be treated as such. So it will never go to a jury of 12 peers, if you will. At most it will go to lawyers and arbitrators, and maybe later a judge… which is precisely how civil disputes are resolved.

                      As for you saying that is “true” that the rules wouldn’t hold up in a real court – far from the truth, it’s merely your opinion. But hey, maybe you’re really an experienced lawyer and I’m not seeing through that. In that case you should volunteer to take Van den Driessche’s case and mount a defence since you think the case is so flimsy. Bonus, you’ll probably force the UCI to be more thorough like what happened after so many failed doping investigations. It really is that simple – or you’re simply playing devil’s advocate, ebbe :-).

                    • Robert Merkel

                      In some circumstances cheating in a sporting can lead to criminal charges, though it is rare that cheating to win does so. Match fixng in soccer and tennis in Australia has resulted in a number of prosecutions recently.

                    • ebbe

                      I said the rule is not waterproof: That’s clear, since a mechanic can make an honest mistake but this is not covered in the rule. The rule does not specify when a bike is considered to be “near” the team area or car, or when a bike is considered a team bike. Absurdly; your grandfather could drop by on his 25 kg electric fat-tired trekking bike, be near your team area or team car, and you could get banned… if we would apply the rule really strictly, without heeding any explanation, as was advocated by somebody else in the thread. Certainly not my idea of fairness, nor of “cleaning up the sport” ;-)

                      I said it MIGHT not hold in a real court case. But we won’t know anytime soon

                      I said it would have been interesting to get it tested in a real court case, but that we’re “missing” that opportunity now because this case is not going to to court. We might never know how that rule holds up in court…

                      That’s all ;-) I’d say we mostly agree Rodrigo !

                    • Dave

                      A couple of minor points:
                      – There will still be a disciplinary hearing where the independent panel will assess the case on the basis of the written case file which both sides have now agreed is correct.
                      – The sanction won’t be determined until that hearing, but will probably be severe given that she is not opting to face the panel and provide some statement to justify a lesser sanction, or offer names of those who assisted in return for leniency.
                      – Most sports do practice mutual recognition of suspensions for serious issues.

        • sanjuro

          I actually agree with you. I don’t know why UCI doesn’t release a picture of the motor.

          • ebbe

            Thanks. I can understand they didn’t release anything while the investigation was ongoing. But by now, they should quickly release *all* facts, findings and measurements, if they want to keep any credibility.

            • Dave

              Exactly.

              This is a chance for Brian Cookson to show that the UCI has cleaned up their act and that he’s not just another muppet like Hein Verbruggen and Pat McQuaid.

              Her decision to consent to the Disciplinary Commission’s verdict will not change the fact that the case against her will have been fully prepared already, so it should be easy to release it to the public.

              • ebbe

                Agree 100% – The facts, and only the facts. The less facts “we” (public, press, fans) have, the more speculation. And more speculation is not what anybody needs.

                • Dave

                  Especially since she has authorised the UCI’s case file as being fully correct.

                  • ebbe

                    She said she wouldn’t win. Not that the UCI case was fully correct. Small difference, but a difference nonetheless.

                    • Dave

                      That is the effect of opting not to defend an accusation – you agree that the other side’s case is fact.

                      She would have the option of pleading guilty, but entering additional evidence or calling witnesses (the ‘it’s my bike’ alibi could then be verified) to provide some level of mitigation.

                    • ebbe

                      No, you’re confusing a “UCI hearing” with a criminal court case now. Basically, a UCI hearing is:
                      – These are our findings, what are yours?
                      – Do you agree not to show your face in a race ever again? And pay €50.000? If so, we won’t take you to court.
                      – If you decide to go to court, you’ll have to defend your case in front of a judge, as will we

                      Van Den Driessche took route nr 3, and said: I don’t want to play. She named her own reasons (not having the money being the main), although it’s not impossible that she knows she cheated and would therefore eventually loose anyway. We’ll probably never know.

                    • Dave

                      No, I’m reading from the UCI regulations which govern their disciplinary processes. You should have a look before you comment further.

                      The disciplinary hearing will still go ahead even if she opts not to contest it, and she’ll still get banned even if she says she’s retired. The media will still write about it and Google will still remember it.

                    • ebbe

                      Oh, yes it will go ahead for sure. Where did I say it wouldn’t? Please point to the quote where I said the hearing would not happen?

                      I’m saying there is no legal (law) consequence to her not showing up (nor sending an attorney), since there is nothing legal about the hearing. You keep calling me out on that, but without any argumentation…

                      But to be clear: Yes, the committee will still reach a “decision” and will then make “an offer”. That offer will likely be a lifetime ban. “Ban” meaning “you will not get a license to race UCI events”.

                      Or maybe you can quote from the UCI regulations which govern their disciplinary processes which legal consequence “not showing up” has? Or even that “not showing up” means the case will not be presented at all, but in stead counts as some sort of proof of guilt? I’d be interested to see that specific article.

            • sanjuro

              UCI – credibility? Bwhahahahahhaha

              • ebbe

                Yup ;-)

      • Callum Dwyer

        LOL. ‘as a member of the cycling community’. Good one.

    • Dave

      Note that she said in her statement that it was her bike.

      • ebbe

        No, she didn’t. She said “…die fiets stond in mijn materiaalzone”, meaning “…THAT bike was in my tech zone”.

        Note that I’m actually Dutch and therefore read Dutch just fine ;-)

        • Dave

          That’s not any less of a confession, considering she refused to give a credible explanation as to where else it came from.

          Glad she’s gone, the only disappointing thing will be that there will be no opportunity for her to spill the beans on who else enabled it to happen. She could have traded that information for a suspension of a couple of years, although it would be unlikely that any team would sign her or that race organisers would accept her entries afterwards.

          • ebbe

            “That bike” is not a confession at all, so yes it’s much much less of a confession than “my bike”. And I assume you have proof that refutes the explanation provided? If so, you should have come forward… Come on Dave, stop thinking you are even close to a real judge. You’re not. A real judge would know the difference between “my bike” and “that bike” is in fact essential. So maybe stop acting like you are? It’s quite embarrassing ;-)

            • Dave

              I am quite prepared to accept her confession that a motorbike was in her pits and her acknowledgment that there was no good reason as to why it was there. The only thing I find mildly disappointing is that apparently she is keeping schtum about the others who assisted (i.e. letting them stay in the sport) when she could have traded that for a lesser suspension.

              What are you digging for?

              • ebbe

                In the explanation that was offered it is 100% crystal clear who was responsible for placing the motor in the bike. The name and phone number were provided to the UCI immediately after the bike was discovered, and to the Belgian press a little later, and the name has been all over the news papers and TV in Belgium. The guy has even been on TV (briefly, since he didn’t have much to say other than “It is my bike”). So the real question is: If you are indeed willing to believe the explanation provided*, as you say, what more do YOU want?

                * I’m personally not too sure of the validity this explanation yet, but I also have no “better” facts… And I’m not keen to fill the gaps with speculation or emotion.

                • Dave

                  The lack of substance to that alibi has already been discussed on this site at length.

                  How does that explain the tips from other riders which led to the UCI officials going to her pit?

                  • ebbe

                    Precisely. That was one (of several) factors that made me questioning the provided explanation… And that (at face value) “contradicting” information is exactly why a proper judge/court should look into this case. No way is anybody going to get to the real facts on an internet forum ;-) Nor should we want to live in a world were people think they are entitled to judge, solely based on social media information. We (you and I and Cycling Tips and almost 6 bilion other people on earth) just don’t know what really happened in detail, and therefore we should refrain from pretending and judging as if we do know.

                • The Ocelot

                  I don’t know how many top-level UCI pits you’ve been in during a race, but I’ve been in a few, both as a mechanic and as a photographer. Mechs know their riders bikes inside out – what looks like a line of identical bikes to most people, that team’s mechanics can identify individually instantly by tiny details like small scratches, the colour/position of cable ends, that one small bolt that got replaced with a different colour one etc. They will know which bike has which tyres at which pressure, which one has brake pads that only have another day’s racing in them, which one is the shiny backup that never gets used – basically they know every bike inside out, especially in a small team situation like the one in question. To get that bike into the pit on race day you can’t just stroll it in as a random member of the public, as you could in the Sky example you gave, and it’s presence would be noticed very quickly. I find it extremely hard to believe that a mechanic would pick up a bike, even one that was technically the same as their race bikes, and not notice it wasn’t the right one. At the very least, they’d be doublechecking the setup and tyre pressure etc to ensure that Mystery Bike was ready for use, at which point it’s identity would become apparent – especially with a good chunk of extra weight in it!
                  In any case, sure there’s speculation there and maybe the rules need to be changed. But there is zero excuse for that bike being in the pits – everyone knows the rules and there’s no way that bike could have been there without the team knowing about it, with or without a motor they wouldn’t want to be caught with a bike that didn’t meet the guidelines in their area. If I am to speculate, I’d say they had a pretty good cover story lined up should that bike ever be discovered.
                  Also, I’d love the UCI to publish their case, but you know it would just result is internet uproar about them publishing a decision without the rider being able to defend herself. They can’t win here.

                  • ebbe

                    I don’t doubt that at all. I’d know my own bikes out of a line of identical ones as well, since I built them myself. But I promise you that you can just easily walk up to a team bus an leave a bike leaning up to it (not inside the tape, but the rules say nothing about tape). I’ve walked up to team busses with my own bike in hand several times. Sure the mechanics would know it’s not one of theirs, but you’re only proving my point: THEY would know in an instance, but the rule-book would say: It doesn’t matter what the mechanics say, the non compliant bike was near and that’s illegal. The point is: Reading the rules too strict is dangerous, especially “untested” new rules.

                    So, back to the Van Den Driessche case: This means you’re basically saying the mechanic was careless. Can you hand an athlete a life ban if their mechanic makes a mistake, however stupid that mistake may be? A judge/court could answer that question, we can’t.

                  • Dave

                    Completely agree on the team pits angle, also having spent time behind the scenes myself. In the event of a bike turning up that shouldn’t be there, every mechanic knows to summon the nearest event official or security guard. They also control the odds of that happening by preventing people bringing bikes close to their team bus/marquee etc.

                    There is plenty of precedent for publishing that sort of decision in sporting disciplinary cases. The key is that she is not being denied a defence, by opting not to attend the hearing (which will still go ahead) she has endorsed the case file as being correct and authorised the panel to make their decision purely on the basis of the case file.

                    The case file having been agreed upon by both sides, I don’t see any reason it shouldn’t be published – perhaps with the names of whistleblowers and other non-parties redacted.

                    • ebbe

                      You only have to place a bike NEAR the team bus. If we’re going with strict interpretation of the rules, and everything else being irrelevant (which was not my argumentation, but was the point I was arguing against), that’s ALL you would have to do. You could even place the bike under a blanket ;-) Really Dave, you should read better ;-)

                      Again: There is no “conceding defense”, since this is not a legal case. It’s a hearing. The worst thing the UCI can do is not allow her in a UCI race ever again. The choice was
                      – Go there and accept the certain life time ban + fine
                      – Go there and hope the UCI committee sees her side, but likely still get the life time ban and possibly the fine
                      – Not go there and likely get a life time ban
                      – Go to a real judge to maybe get any of the above overthrown

                    • Chris

                      Personally, do you feel that she has intended to use the bike or not?
                      Try this – what sort of percentage would you give your surety of her trying to cheat? I’m at 99%, for example. Maybe higher. The likelihood of her alibi being true is just so low.
                      I’d love to understand where your mad internet debating skillz are coming from, in terms of whether you believe she’s possibly innocent, or whether you just like typing reams of text to defend every point you make, or defending process, or just think the UCI is on trial here rather than what’s her name.

    • Andrew Reimann

      This entire thread is ignoring the fact that Femke is abandoning her defense. Speculating at what a trial would prove or not prove is equivocal to trolling one another at this point

    • Andrew Reimann

      This entire thread is ignoring the fact that Femke is abandoning her defense. Speculating at what a trial would prove or not prove is equivocal to trolling one another at this point

      • ebbe

        No. That’s been mentioned several times actually. ;-) Also, it’s irrelevant, since this is not a civil nor a criminal case before a court judge. It’s a UCI hearing before a committee which has no real legal power whatsoever

        • Andrew Reimann

          “So, now UCI do not have to prove anything and still gets what they wanted, merely by threatening?” So clearly it doesn’t matter that they don’t have any “real” legal power according to your definition, because they are still getting what they wanted

          • ebbe

            Yes, by threatening they get what they wanted. This is called the Chilling Effect. Lot’s of ceedy (private) agencies do it all the time

          • Dave

            The UCI commissaires assembling the case file still have to prove it to the satisfaction of the independent members of the hearing panel.

            Their task is of course easier when the offender agrees that the case file is correct.

      • Dave

        By not attending, she is indicating her agreement that the case file assembled against her is correct, and to be entered into the record as fact.

        The disciplinary hearing will still go ahead, with the panel making their decision based on the case file which both sides have agreed is correct.

        Hopefully it will be released to the public, perhaps just with the names of whistleblowers and other non-parties redacted. There’s no reason it shouldn’t be, given everyone agrees it’s factual.

        • Josh

          All the UCI is required to prove is that the bike was in her pit, not that she intended to cheat or had rode the bike previously. By the UCI’s definition, putting the bike in the pit is “use” even though she did not ride the bike during the race. Therefore even if she could provide evidence that the bike was not hers, and that she had never rode it, it would still be impossible for her to be acquitted.

    • BBB

      All sports have rules and regulations, which the participants agree to when they sign up/get issued with a licence etc etc.

      There is usually a set procedure and rights of appeal if you do not like the decision. We have all seen this play out with doping disputes; disciplinary procedure instigated by the home federation with appeal rights to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Landis…rubbed out at home and then rubbed out on appeal to CAS. Contador…cleared at home and rubbed out by CAS.

      I think people need to stop equating sporting disputes with civil or criminal liability (or the civil or criminal courts). They operate separately from the court system (though they may be subject to oversight from the judicial system if need be – see for example the Supreme Court of Victoria being asked to issue subpoenas in the initial case against Essendon and refusing to do so) and are designed to resolve sporting disputes. In cycling think, doping disputes, licence disputes etc. These are not matters for the civil or criminal courts of various countries (funded by the tax payer) and realistically should be resolved outside this framework. While a doping issue could also be a criminal matter (depending on the laws of the country in question) to the extent the doping occurred in a sporting context it is dealt with in accordance with the procedure agreed by the athlete when they signed up for a licence. There’s also a different standard of proof – comfortable satisfaction – compared to on the balance of probabilities (in a civil trial) and beyond reasonable doubt (in a criminal trial). Comfortable satisfaction sits in the middle between the two. And so on.

      I imagine the UCI, faced with a capitulation, will find the charge proven and much like the Lance Armstrong case, it will need to provide a justification for whatever sanction they choose to apply. It will no doubt be conscious that this is a first of its kind case and the rules also provide for ramifications against the team in question.

  • MadBlack

    She’s still gonna get the fine and suspension, right?! Anything else would be the Uci loosing face.

    • errol_day

      Nope. And note she has only retired from cycle-cross, not any other discipline.

      • Dave

        A UCI suspension applies across all cycling disciplines, and will surely be handed down even though she is waiving her opportunity to make any case against the charge.

    • Dave

      Any fine will just be a symbolic gesture on the part of the UCI.

      The UCI’s disciplinary regulations state that the consequence of a fine not being paid is that the rider is suspended until it is paid. There is no regulation stating that anything different applies for cases where that suspension-pending-payment would be ineffective because there’s another disciplinary suspension in force.

      The UCI is not a proper criminal court handing out proper fines, they are in reality just fees which can be paid to secure further participation in the sport. If you don’t want to participate in the sport, no need to pay the fees!

  • Torontoflatlander

    I don’t think she quit Cyclocross. Cyclocross pretty much collectively kicked her out.

  • packfill

    Bye Felicia!

    • Dave

      Who is Felicia?

      • De Waffle Stoemper

        Haha it’s a common phrase these days amongst us youngin’s! “When someone says that they’re leaving and you could really give two #%$^ less that they are. Their name then becomes “felicia”, a random #%@^# that nobody is sad to see go. Their real name becomes irrelevant because nobody cares what it really is. Instead, they now are “felicia”.”

  • Nathan

    It bothers me that so much vitriol is aimed at a 19 year old. Not saying she didn’t cheat, but I can’t imagine she did it herself. I hope her father is also banned.

    • ebbe

      I believe he might even go to jail… for stealing parakeets! Case will be up before a real court judge in a short while

    • Dave

      I doubt it will happen. If he’s not a rider or a sporting director of a registered team, he can’t be banned as the UCI does not regulate other support staff.

      In addition, if Femke is not contesting the accusation she won’t have a chance to offer up names for leniency.

  • Mark Blackwell

    What a fantastic thread. The comments are actually better than the article (which, I understand, is the greatest achievement of CT, so no disrespect intended to the article). Thanks ebbe, Dave, and everyone else for providing such spirited, civilised, intelligent debate.

  • bigdo

    Seems like she got cold busted, but there should be a way for riders to defend themselves w/o going bankrupt… She’s only 19, a second chance shouldn’t be out of the question. Ah well, we know that $$$ is the UCI’s real bottom line…

    • Dave

      I don’t think anyone is really buying the ‘I can’t afford to go to Aigle’ nonsense. I’ve driven further to go to a concert, and in Europe there is also the option of Easyjet or Ryanair.

      I do agree with the option of giving her a second chance after a lengthy suspension (4-5 years minimum) and a strict rehabilitation program including providing evidence of developing a work ethic at university or a real job in that time. This sort of offer should only be available if she coughs up the names of everyone else involved, lists the other races where she used it and the stories are all verified.

      • bigdo

        Lol, your solution is to send her to university or to get a “real job”? What the fuck are you even talking about man? I think she’s a kid… A 19 yr old… She shouldn’t be thrown out of the sport because she put a motor in her bike. Period.

        • Dave

          She’s an adult. A young adult, but still an adult.

          But that’s irrelevant, even kids who aren’t old enough to vote, pay tax, drink alcohol, drive a car or die for their country in the military know that you can’t turn up to a bicycle race with something more at home at the Phillip Island GP or the Isle of Man TT.

BACK TO TOP

Pin It on Pinterest

17 NEW ARTICLES
December 3, 2016
December 2, 2016
December 1, 2016