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by Shane Stokes
October 14, 2016
Photography by Shane Stokes
Responding to claims by the inventor of the hidden motor that it had not complied with French police requests at this year’s Tour de France, the UCI has denied that it obstructed any moves to detect technological fraud.
“The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) condemns the accusations being made in some news reports concerning the UCI’s commitment to tackle technological fraud and the tests made at this year’s Tour de France,” it said in a statement to CyclingTips.
“The UCI carried out extensive bike checks using various detection methods in close collaboration with race organiser, French authorities and French law enforcement.”
Claims about the UCI’s cooperation were made on Wednesday evening by the inventor of hidden motors, Istvan ‘Stefano’ Varjas.
“I was there with the LeMonds, with Kathy and Greg. They came, the Gendarmerie, to interrogate me. I asked them if they really wanted to grab the people using the motors. They said ‘yes, we are ready to fight against it. We want to grab the people who use it.’
“So I just told them what they need to do. They said they would do it. They went to make this kind of check, but the UCI refused to allow them to check the bikes.”
The UCI’s response came on Thursday evening and strongly contradicts Varjas’ version of events. During the Tour UCI President Brian Cookson told CyclingTips that the governing body would cooperate with others in carrying out tests.
“Obviously our role is to be the governing body,” he said. “We do the checks, but we are happy to collaborate with ASO and the French authorities to do anything necessary.
“We will be doing our tests, which have become familiar now with the iPad-based system, but we will also use any other forms of testing and will work with the French authorities to do that.”