Perigueux, France (AFP) — A cyclist was caught using a motorized bike during an amateur race in France on Sunday, the local public prosecutor revealed.
The tampered bicycle was discovered following a race in southwest France, with the rider, whose name and age was not published, “admitting to using this system.”
“We were alerted by an employee of the French anti-doping agency of suspected cheating by the use of an electronic system, seemingly a little motor,” the public prosecutor for Perigueux in the Dordogne commune, Jean-François Mailhes, told AFP.
It was found following a joint operation conducted by the anti-doping agency, the French Cycling Federation (FFC) and the local public prosecutor’s office.
The rider was interviewed by police in a bid to find out how much he had gained in prize money from using the motorized bike, which the UCI refers to as “technological fraud.”
The FFC said it was the first such case in France.
In January 2016, Femke Van den Driessche became the first competitive cyclist to be found using a motorized bike. The bike was found in her pit stall at the 2016 UCI World Cyclocross Championships in Zolder, Belgium. Driessche was 19-years-old at the time and racing in the junior women’s race. The offense saw the Belgian banned for six-years by the UCI.