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  • jules

    I’ve stated this before, but how do the police justify prosecuting someone for sporting fraud in a cat. 3 amateur road race? What next, police undercover sting of grade 4 kids copying answers off each other?

    • Shane Stokes

      This may well be part of a bigger move to push for tougher laws in France; laws were proposed a few months ago but not passed in a vote. So there may well be a bigger picture here.

      • My point exactly. Maybe Ct/Shane can look some stuff up.
        Proposed laws are just that – proposed. With the recent elections/new president/following strikes, I suspect sporting fraud was not exactly a prioirty. I don’t follow local (French) cycling sites that much anymore though I am sure such a law would have made headlines, and those have been quite lacking.

        Actually, the more i think about it, you can look at the whole think with a bit of a conspiracy theory lens. Granted cycling’s accessibilty is among it’s positive assests, it means it attracts people from various rungs of life and highly varying states of mind/education backgrounds. So it appears, changing a top level frame for a no-name brand AND having wires sticking out while using a mechanical groupset (as per the interview/TV feature) AND suddenly incerasing race perofmrance to eye-brow raising levels was thought of by the guy as not suspicious. “The govenrment maybe me do it!” What I am trying to say, “catching” somebody red handed would prove a point much more than an obscure newspiece in a regional federation’s newsletter. Cheaters be warned.

        Os usually, as per Occam’s razor, the theory with the least assumptions is correct – they guy really genuinely thought he could get away with it and the thrill of all of a sudden riding his mates off his wheel was too good to resist. Guess we will never know.=)

    • JCJordan

      A crime is a crime. Should we let someone off just because they stole $1000 but not $100

      • Quickdraw

        Is this a crime though? I’m sure it is according to the AFLD but they aren’t the law. I mean… did Armstrong get arrested?

        • DaveRides

          Sporting fraud is indeed illegal in most European countries.

          This could provide an interesting test case, to see if the current laws can be interpreted as covering technical methods of sporting fraud or whether the proposed tougher laws (which did not get introduced) are actually necessary.

          • Quickdraw

            Well then I find it amazing someone would risk prosecution and cheat in an amateur race.

            • DaveRides

              He obviously wasn’t thinking that he might get caught.

              By the way, he is not ‘someone’, he is Cyril Fontayne.

            • Mikkel Tysland

              Never underestimate the value some put in bragging rights!

              • Quickdraw

                He did win some money too.

        • mrp33p3rs

          there was $ involved

      • jules

        yes and no. there are lots of crimes for which the police let people off. the police won’t say it publicly, but with limited resources they must prioritise which crimes they pursue.

        I just don’t see how this is a priority crime but Shane points out that there may be an agenda.

        • Sunny Ape

          Can you provide a few examples of what you do classify as a ‘priority crimes’?

          • jules

            rape, murder, cyclists being injured by motorists

            • Sunny Ape

              Ok, got it. Nobody physically injured = not a priority = no police needed.

              All that other ‘law’ stuff… bah! Let the aggrieved parties settle it among themselves, right? And the 500 Euros that the guy won using that motor powered bike, he gets to keep that, right?

              As the guy is reported to have said… “I’ve not sold drugs or killed a child. I’ve simply placed a motor in a bike”. Nobody injured, move along, nothing to see here.

              • jules

                I think you’re confusing prioritising something with taking no action. It doesn’t mean that. It just means you don’t issue parking tickets while a bank robbery is underway across the street. You fix the priority issue first, then get back to parking fines.

                This is a difficult concept for many people to grasp, as in practice – yes it means ‘petty’ crimes are likely to go unpunished. But you have to see it from the broader perspective of explaining to a rape victim why police resources are tied up and they can’t spend enough time chasing the perp. Because, bike motors?

                • Excellent point! The summary and advise to people should read something like -always look at the broader picture.

    • Quoting Joe Strummer – know your rights. ONLY police/law enforcement can legally force you to pull over and they have signalisation (light and sound) that can force you to do that. Some random guy in a car chasing you is ILLEGAL. Here I admit I do not know who chased who etc.
      Even when stopped by police you don’t have to tell them anything and/or comply with what they want you to do or do/confess to more than what they are asking. The problem is most people, even when completely innocent, crap themselves when in the presence of police and spill the beans about that joint they smoked 10 years ago….

      Given the law is quite fuzzy, IF there is even a law about motorised doping/sport fraud being a reason to be chased pulled/over/etc. The guy had no reason to hand over his bike imo.

      I am NOT saying cheating and f*** the police. There is a bigger issue at stake. I am saying, they (police) know you don’t know your rights and push you to do stuff *voluntarily* that you don’t have to. They are public servants not some wannabe sheriff out to get the outlaws in the wild west. I’d rather my tax money go to sanction drivers on their phones on my bike commute to work, rather than some random guy in a amateur race.

      • DaveRides

        Something to keep in mind: police powers are different in different places. You can only give advice, or comment on the legality of the gendarmes’ actions, if you know the context. This particularly applies to Anglos like us talking about the justice systems of countries in continental Europe.

        I agree with your final point, that there are higher priorities for policing resources and I would therefore not be in favour of criminalising sporting fraud in my context of Australia. But I can’t deny people in other countries the right to decide for themselves that sporting fraud is a problem that needs to be criminalised. They may have less of a problem with distracted driving than we do, or a more effective tax system that means their police are properly funded to the level that they can deal with both bigger issues and smaller issues.

        • Random civilian guy chasing you and forcing you to pull over is illegal pretty much everywhere in the western world.=) Law enforcement can do it legally even undercover (usually with a court order, etc. aka higher authorsiationt). Anti-doping =/= law enforcement even in France.

          Disclaimer: I live in France/ride daily and have had to deal with gendarmes/police nationale, though in a lot more innocent cycling context. Again I repeat that I (we) do not know who chased who and how it was done, though looking at the picture it seems like a pretty plainclothes operation akin to drug busts etc. which as I mentioned without higher authorisation are on the border of legality at best. Police can’t go waving the law in your face because they feel like it – it is a free country.

          I don’t care about the motor issue one bit, though I personally care what local police does to cyclists (as per personal experience) and what people (cyclists) let be done to them. This *is* the bigger issue here.

          • DaveRides

            Thanks for the clarification of your context. I thought you were an American by the content of your first post.

            Here in Australia, people also tend to incriminate themselves to police. Society is generally quite happy with this as it saves lots of time and effort.

            • No problem=). I understand that American TV and the Miranda rights seem to have gotten hold of public imagination what policing might be, though laws and personal freedoms do not differ much between countries in the Western world (it’s all derivative of Roman law, though I am digressing…). You can’t legally chase somebody for whatever reason (bastard cut me off!). The offender took the high road and complied, I am curious how the case gets handled. So far none of my colleagues (as non cyclists as you can get hehe) have asked me about it, so it is currently way below the radar.

            • jules

              people incriminate themselves to police because standing up for your rights usually ends up with you being charged for a whole lot more offences than weren’t on the table before you elected not to cooperate

              • Sunny Ape

                When you say “standing up for your rights”, where are these rights tabulated and set out? Not in those pesky other ‘laws’ that aren’t really a priority, right?
                Who upholds or enforces those other, non-priority rights if someone takes yours away from you? Not those police you said shouldn’t be involved, right?

              • Standing up for your rights is not the same as being harda$$ and saying f*** the police in their face, which is what usually happens. Velonews had a piece on what to do as a cyclist if you are involved in an accident with a car. This is what I mean. Being angry and vocal at the police officer who (unjustly treats you like a low level criminal), even though you just blew a red light is just being silly. Motorcyclists around here (France) have cameras on their helmets for those very reasons. Let drivers, police etc do what they want to do (act tough and lie etc). The footage will say otherwise.=)

    • Schmuck123

      In France, doping was crimanalized by law, therefore, it is against the law And if you dope, chemically or mechanically, you can be prosecuted and you can go to jail

      • It is not such black and white issue and as I commented above and what jules said, I very highly doubt they had the *legal* right to pullhim over like that. The fact he complied afterwards supposedly voluntarily is another story. It’s not the doping, it’s the treatment and is how all repressions start.

        • Schmuck123

          It is black and white. If you participate in a race, professional or amateur, you need to obide by the rule and regulation of the race and the country you are racing in. If you cheat, you should get punished to the full extent of the law. However, if antidoping authority comes to your house or stop you on your way to work or on the weekend group ride, you can tell them to f#(k off.

          • The moment you drive off the race course, it’s another story, it’s off limits. They didn’t bust him during the race. I am neither defending him nor hold any empathy towards him. I am against cowboy style policing though.

            As a note the Festina affair, the team car got searched at a routine border check, ie not a random chase, sting operation.

    • Mikkel Tysland

      I guess they hurt the integrity of the sport and thus have potentially cost them future income or similar. When you sign up for the race you agree to follow the rules. I mean they can probably just fine him and suspend him for breach of the contract I recon.

  • Larry @CycleItalia

    They say this cheater won money using his motorcycle in a bicycle race. So in effect he stole prize money from others. Seems like a crime to me, though one can certainly argue the priorities of what the cops should be doing. Some countries take sporting values more seriously than others and while I’m generally no fan of the French, in this case I say CHAPEAU!!!

    • The French do they doping serioulsy for sure even at amateur level, though again I am repeating msyelf since the bigger issue is people (anti-doping officials) most likely overstepping their rights. Cheating is cheating no two ways to look at it.

      • campirecord

        Docteur Mabuse much ? The French have some dirty laundry to wash maybe not very publicly and in high volume but old school cycling remains.

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