Chris Froome reveals he flagged up concerns over motorised doping a year ago
Published 02/02/2016 | 14:52
Chris Froome says he raised his concerns over motorised doping to the authorities a year ago.
Britain's two-time Tour de France champion was speaking ahead of the Herald Sun Tour in Australia and after a bike allegedly containing a motor was confiscated at last weekend's UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Belgium.
Froome, who won the 2013 and 2015 Tours, raised the issue with Cycling's Independent Reform Commission, which published its report into past doping practices in March 2015.
Motorised doping was not part of its remit, but part of a wider discussion Froome had after voluntarily speaking to the commission.
"For the last few years now there have been rumours about motors being concealed within the bikes," Froome said on cyclingnews.com.
"It's a concern that I've had, something that I've brought up with the UCI independent commission when I sat down with them and said 'listen, from my point of view there are these rumours, it would be my advice that the UCI implements controls and measures to start checking bikes more regularly'.
"Just speaking from personal experience, over the last couple of seasons my bike has been dismantled and checked at least a dozen times.
"I think they are taking the threat seriously and hopefully this will mean that they only increase the number of checks they do on the WorldTour level."
UCI president Brian Cookson vowed to stamp out motorised doping after an incident of "technological fraud" during the under-23 women's race, which was won by Great Britain's Evie Richards.
None of the podium finishers from the race at Heusden-Zolder are under suspicion.
Bikes have been scanned by the UCI at major competitions, including the Tour de France, in recent years after rumour and speculation regarding motors hidden in frames.
But this is the first time a motor has been discovered.
Regulations, recently strengthened, state that a rider is given a minimum suspension of six months and a fine of up to 200,000 Swiss Francs for an offence of "technological fraud".
Belgian media outlet Sporza reported that the Belgian Cycling Federation had confirmed that the detained bike belonged to Femke van den Driessche. She denies wrongdoing.