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Although the CBS 60 Minutes programme which aired on Sunday night fell short of providing the sort of proof needed to show that certain riders and teams had using hidden motors in the Tour de France, one of the most notable aspects was an interview with a highly-experienced French anti-doping official.
Jean-Pierre Verdy investigated doping at the Tour de France for two decades in his role as the former testing director for the French Anti-Doping Agency. He spoke to 60 Minutes and said he was sure that the hidden devices had been used.
“Yes, of course [they have],” he stated. “It’s been the last three to four years when I was told about the use of the motors. And in 2014, they told me there are motors. And they told me, there’s a problem. By 2015, everyone was complaining and I said, something’s got to be done.”
Verdy highlighted concerns with the speed at which some riders were climbing. He told 60 Minutes that he has relied for many years on tip offs from within the pro peloton, both from team managers and riders.
He said that those sources had said to him that about 12 riders used such motors during the 2015 Tour de France.
If accurate, the information is devastating. It would also show that the measures carried out by cycling’s governing body the UCI have been ineffective at stopping the problem.
The UCI carried out a large number of checks during the 2015 Tour but these examinations were completely absent for many of the big mountain stages.
Verdy said that some people will always try to profit when the opportunity is there.
“They’re hurting their sport,” he told the programme. “But human nature is like that. Man has always tried to find that magic potion.”