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  • Berne Shaw

    Just look at the body language. It makes one sick. Practiced liars. Poor little victims. Aw shucks.

    • ebbe

      Can you ba a bit more specific Berne? Which clues in their body language signals “practiced liars” to you?

  • Alister Taylor

    Unfortunately, I think it’s going to be very difficult to sanction those around her. I think breaking family omerta may be even harder than peloton omerta. Given those around her are unlikely to think they did anything wrong other than getting caught, I can’t see them rolling over.

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    • Dave

      The difficulty will mostly come from the fact that the UCI does not have a licensing process for support personnel other than sporting directors, and therefore no capability to enforce any ‘sanction’ they issue.

      There are better things the UCI can do with that effort – like doing something about race officials on motos mowing down cyclists during road races.

  • gregg boyer

    She’s done, her brother is serving a doper sanction by UCI . There’s no chance on the planet her trade team had knowledge, less chance in the universe the Belgian team had knowledge of the fraud . Unless her pigeon stealing father or the pigeon stealing accomplish who “now owns” the confiscated bike, decide to go “master”. The case is closed, no world class riders implicated . An allegation is proven to exist and swiftly dealt with, at the cost of a lesser rider .

    • Berne Shaw

      you could be right gregg. it is possible no one noticed in the heat of things. they are practiced liars and there was likely a group of them hiding it from the mechanics and team folks. I bet they are frosted in a very big way.

    • ebbe

      Which opens the question: Should the Belgian national team have known? It’s their responsibility as well, according to UCI regulations.

      There was an interview with a few of the Dutch riders in the week after the Worlds. They very clearly said this would have been impossible for them to pull off without the official Dutch cycling union (KNWU) mechanics knowing, since all bikes are inspected and prepared by KNWU mechanics and sealed away from all other (non union) people. Obviously, the Belgian federation dropped the ball by letting an isolated “sub team” operate under their national team umbrella without any oversight.

      Then again, even if the Belgian national team knew about this, or even collaborated, any UCI investigation would obviously NEVER “uncover” that piece of the puzzle. That would mean the Belgian national team would have to be banned (for x years?), which would be the definitive death blow for CX as a TV sport.

      • gregg boyer

        Agreed 100%, however, “given”, this bike was confiscated from the area of the pits, that by all reporting . No where has it be stated that the Belgian team had possessed the bike at any time . Hence, the plausibility of the team not knowing . Coupled with the knowledge that severe team sanctions exist, they’ll likely not chance it for a child racer .

        • ebbe

          Yes, you are absolutely correct. However, the current UCI regulations don’t specify that an “official” team mechanic (eg employed by the national union) has to touch the bike. A fraudulent bike being found near the team area is enough for a sanction against rider and team. You could hide a Pinarello F8 – with a motor in it – in Sky colors and carrying a “Chris Froome” sticker behind the team bus or mechanics truck under a cover, give the UCI an anonymous tip, and Team Sky / Froome would be in trouble. Or… “Should be in trouble” ;-)

          Back to the VDD case: They’ve already applied this “we found some gun so you must have used it to kill”-“logic” to the rider, so they could apply it to the team, which at that particular day was, officially, the belgian national squad.

          Of course they won’t. Not ever. And of course I’m not in favour that they do. But I do feel this shines a light on a couple of vulnerabilities in the UCI regulations as they currently stand. If they ever catch a rider or team with a big bank account, they’ll have a big challenge to make it stick.

          • gregg boyer

            There is the tree in the forest . The big money teams have been served notice, all it cost a young riders career . No legal action based on her lack of cash . The UCI is not a government run organization, nor do they report to stock holders . They run bicycle racing in their sphere . They make the rules and can apply them as they see fit . I seriously doubt any team will ever take another chance like this . My belief now is, the national teams will arrive at the venue . The registered riders give up the bikes, there will be legal documents involved to exonerate the team and place 100% of guilt on the rider .

            • ebbe

              I hope you’re right. But if history serves as an indication: Did doping (actual doping, not mechanical fraud) stop after Armstrong? No. Riders are still being caught. You’d think they at least all find some new drug to jump to, but no… they’re also still being caught doing EPO.

              Honestly, I find the UCI’s “you can ride, but you can’t hide, we’re coming to get your electro motors” statments laughable when they’re explicitly unwilling to buy a few heat cameras to use *in addition* to their magic tablets. It’s like saying: As long as you make sure your fraudulent bikes are not near a UCI official before and after the race, whatever you do during the race is fine. If I were a big money team wanting to cheat, I would indeed consider myself served notice.. of precisely how to cheat without being caught!

              Ps, this is unless UCI is actually preparing to do heat sensor checks in races, but just doesn’t want anybody to know. I’d be fine with that of course ;-)

  • martin

    And whilst they’re at it, where are the parrots!?

  • Larry @CycleItalia

    Meanwhile, it’s “Heat detecting cameras? Nah, we don’t need those, we nabbed super crafty, big-time cheater little Femke with our own methods. Nothing to see here folks, everything’s all cleaned up. Same with doping….we’re all pure as the driven snow these days. Step right up…get your company name on a cycling team while they last…..”
    UCI = same s–t, different day.


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