A 73-year-old French cyclist and local bike club president has been caught and admitted to motor doping at the 12th edition of the Col du Benas hill climb race south of Lyon according to Le Dauphine.
On 28 August from a field of 112 amateur competitors the septuagenarian finished a very impressive (and unbelievable) 16th in 25:31, only three minutes off the winning time.
As word of his performance spread around the finish area all hell broke loose. The race organizers quickly impounded the the old man’s bike, only to discover a small electric motor in the rear wheel hub.
The rider initially denied the accusation of motor doping, contrary to the obvious facts. The unnamed rider told Le Dauphine, “Everyone knew about it, several people saw my bike before the start, told me it was fine, nobody tried to stop me going and then afterwards I was in crucified!”
Adding emphatically, “I made a mistake, I’ll admit it, but I did it knowingly. In addition, the regulations of the event do not mention the ban on the use of e-bikes. Also, I prefer mechanical doping to pharmaceutical doping.”
It is unclear if the motor doper was also tested for banned performance enhancing drugs or if he will be disciplined by the French Anti Doping Agency (AFLD), the French Cycling Federation (FFC) or the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) technical/mechanical doping officials.
This is the second story of amateur motor doping in Europe this summer. Italian press reported Stefano Stagni may have used a motor at Maratona dles Dolomites in July.