UCI 'studying' alleged hidden motors

Updated: June 2, 2010, 2:08 PM ET
Associated Press

NYON, Switzerland -- The International Cycling Union will examine so-called "mechanical doping" at a meeting next week with bike manufacturers.

UCI president Pat McQuaid said Wednesday he did not believe rumors sweeping the sport that racers were cheating by getting extra power from battery-powered motors hidden in their bike frames.

"We have no belief at the moment that it's actually a fact," McQuaid told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

But he said the subject is on the agenda of a routine meeting between the UCI and industry representatives next Monday.

"We want to make sure that, as batteries on bikes progress, the UCI is in a position to monitor completely any usage there might be in an unfair way," McQuaid said.

Motors that can be attached to a bicycle have been commercially available for several years, but existing models require a battery carried visibly in a saddle bag.

McQuaid said the UCI has no knowledge of motors that could be hidden inside the tubes of a frame.

"They are still not invisible," he said. "All the evidence we're seeing ... is that the battery is about the size of a bag of sugar."

McQuaid said the UCI has contacted former racer Davide Cassani, who says he has tested a motorized bike that could help a rider cheat.

Cassani's reports for Italian television have fueled speculation that mechanical doping could rival performance-enhancing drugs as a threat to the sport.

"This is a story that has gone around the world like wildfire, whereas there is no foundation for it," McQuaid said.


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

SPONSORED HEADLINES

ESPN TOP HEADLINES

MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM