There have been several acquisations of "technological dubbing" or "bike doping" in professional cycling for years. But earlier this year the first confirmed case came to light when 19-year-old Belgian women's cyclist, Femke Van den Driessche, was caught cheating with a hidden motor.
Femke had been a favorite in U23 (under 23) Cyclocross World Championship, later won by Evie Richards. However, she had mechanical issues and had to abandon the race with one lap left. It was then that UCI officials checked the bike, along with several others. The motor was discovered hidden in
At first, she denied the bike was her own, claiming that is was a friend's bike that looked identical to hers. At a minimum she faced a 6 month probation and fine of 20,000 Swiss Francs. As the case became more serious, the sanctions turned to a lifetime ban and fine of up to 200,000 Swiss Francs. Before the trial reached UCI's Disciplinary Commission, Femke withdrew her defense and retired from cyclocross. She still maintains that the bike did not belong to her. Do you believe her?
What do you think the penalty should be for concealing a hidden motor on a bike? Do you think there are more professional cyclists using "technological dubbing"?
Vivax Assist: hidden motor for bicycles
Check this link to learn more about hidden motors.