Zwift has banned another two riders from its top races for falsifying data
Another two riders have been banned from Zwift’s top-level races after fabricating or modifying their race data, “bringing the sport into disrepute”.
Antonina Reznikov and Selma Trommer are both banned from entering “official Zwift Cycling Esports events” until mid July 2021 after being handed six-month sanctions starting January 11 and January 18 respectively.
Reznikov, an Ironman triathlete who finished third in last year’s Israeli road race championships, was banned for altering her power data from a Zwift Racing League event in which she placed fourth. “Zwift’s automated systems identified that the dual-recorded data from the rider’s power meter may have been edited and warranted more detailed investigation,” the Zwift Performance Verification Board wrote. “Detailed analysis by Zwift of the rider’s data identified that the power values submitted were 32% higher than the originally recorded values.
“Zwift discussed the issue with the rider, and although they initially denied editing the file, they eventually acknowledged that they had indeed changed their power data before submitting it to Zwift.”
Trommer, 10th place finisher in last year’s German road race championships, caught the attention of “Zwift’s automated systems” for the same reason as Reznikov a week later, also at a Zwift Racing League event. “Detailed analysis by Zwift of the rider’s data identified that the power values submitted were 9% higher than the originally recorded values.”
Trommer denied editing the data. Her team manager told Zwift that Trommer had issues uploading her ride file to Garmin Connect, and instead used Golden Cheetah to import then export the file before sending it to Zwift. The Zwift Performance Verification Board considered whether the files could have been edited by accident through the use of such applications.
“The fact … that all the power records in the rider’s data file had all been increased by a fixed percentage, precluded this possibility.”
According to Zwift, Trommer acknowledged that the data had been edited, but did not take personal responsibility “or offer any explanation as to how their file came to be edited.”
Both Reznikov and Trommer will be free to continue using Zwift during their bans, so long as they’re not racing official Esports events.
Reznikov and Trommer join two other riders who are currently serving bans for falsifying or modifying their race data. Shanni Berger began her suspension on August 18 last year and Lizi Duncombe joined her on the sidelines from September 20. Like Reznikov and Trommer, both Berger and Duncombe were banned for the “Fabrication or modification of data; bringing the sport into disrepute”.
Zwift polices its own events for various forms of cheating, much in the same way that the World Anti-Doping Agency is tasked with detecting doping in outdoor racing. Decisions on cheating in Zwift are handed down by the Zwift Performance Verification Board.