UCI presidential challenger David Lappartient has called for an extension of the UCI’s current testing methods for hidden motors, saying that the Stade 2 TV report shows that what is being done is not sufficient.
“These tablet-based controls are necessary but simply aren’t enough,” he told the Stade 2 reporters, having seen the investigative report prior to its broadcast on Sunday. “They are supposed to detect 100% of cases, which results in no positive evidence of doping.
“I would like to think that I was wrong [about his previously doubts] but this report shows that I am right. In this case, all of these people need to be contacted so that by the 1st of January, we everything is in good order, and so the credibility of sports results can be assured. Let’s not delude ourselves in providing the professionals, as well as the media and the public, with an illusion of secure results.”
Lappartient previously spoke on the subject with CyclingTips, saying after the Tour de France that he wanted to ramp up the fight against technological fraud.
Viewing the Stade 2 programme has reinforced that view. “Even though we have devices that work in 95% of cases, what we need to focus on especially is the 5% in which the devices are not sufficient enough. Because this is where we can have problems. And we saw that back with classic doping,” he noted.
The UCI has also carried out a limited number of scans with thermal imaging cameras, as have the French authorities. It said that it carried out 4,000 tests during the Tour de France, yet data from the Vuelta a España appears not to be available.
A request to the Vuelta organisers this week for information on the number and type of examinations carried out was not answered.
Without such information, it is impossible to know if the Vuelta is being policed at anything like the same level as the Tour and, consequently, to have full faith in the results.
If elected, Lappartient wants to bring in a more vigorous approach to this issue.
“As far as I’m concerned, I don’t believe that there’s only one tool we can use,” he said. “I believe that in addition to tablets – that may be working in certain aspects, hopefully all of them – we need to use X-rays, thermal cameras, weigh the bikes, mark them [after testing] and also physically disassemble them. We need to seize of a certain number of bikes.”
The UCI presidential elections will take place later this month at the world race championships in Bergen, Norway. Lappartient is up against the incumbent Brian Cookson, who declined to be interviewed for the Stade 2 programme.