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According to Sporza, the UCI has requested an investigation into an episode in which a Deceuninck-Quick-Step sports director was seen removing an unknown object from Remco Evenepoel’s jersey pocket after the rising star crashed at Il Lombardia.
“We have asked the CADF [the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation] to investigate the television images and question witnesses,” said UCI president David Lappartient, according to Sporza. “We want to know what has been taken out of Evenepoel’s back pocket.”
Evenepoel crashed over the side of a bridge at Il Lombardia earlier this month, suffering several injuries, including a broken pelvis. In the aftermath of Evenepoel’s fall, television cameras filmed sports director Davide Bramati taking something out of the young Belgian’s back pocket when Bramati and others first reached Evenepoel after his crash. Bramati put the object into his pocket.
Video of the incident led to speculation from some on social media.
Following the emergence of the news that the UCI would be looking into the incident, Deceuninck-Quick-Step manager Patrick Lefevere took to Twitter on Friday to offer an explanation, as well as an expression of his frustration with the matter.
“I didn’t know there were so many stupid people,” he wrote. “Even the president of the UCI. Computer data.”
Bramati himself referenced Evenepoel’s data in an interview immediately after Il Lombardia, saying that the team initially thought Evenepoel might have crashed because he was no longer sending data.
As Sporza reports, Lappartient is hoping an investigation will provide answers on what kind of data was being sent, as only certain data is allowed to be transmitted during a race.
“What data are we talking about then?” he said, according to Sporza. “After all, it is forbidden to send certain data. So, we are also looking at that point. If it is only about geographical position then it’s something else, but sharing other data is not allowed.”