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French media reports that an amateur cyclist has been caught using a hidden motor in a Category 3 race in the country’s south-west department of Dordogne.
The man, who hasn’t been named, is said to have been of interest to the French anti-doping agency (AFLD) for some time. Suspicions only intensified last week after it was noted that “his ability to climb hills was striking.”
The man’s bike was reportedly checked by local gendarmes at the Grand Prix de Saint-Michel-de-Double over the weekend. State prosecutor for Périgueux, Jean-François Mailhes, said: “We were advised by a representative of the AFLD of suspicions of [technological] fraud using an electronic system, in other words a little motor.”
“This wasn’t an overnight operation,” said the president of the French cycling federation (FFC), Michel Callot. “My fear is that we’ll find a lot of this kind of cheating in the amateur ranks because the technology is becoming accessible and we don’t have the same means of detection as in professional cycling.”
This isn’t the first case of a rider being caught for using a motor in a race. An Italian amateur was found out in July of this year, and Belgian CX racer Femke van den Driessche was caught with a motor in a bike at the 2016 CX World Championships.