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Report: Péraud leaves UCI due to budget shortfall

Jean-Christophe Péraud leaves as top motor doping detective due to budget cuts.

Only two years ago the UCI celebrated the development of the technological fraud department, headed up by 2014 Tour de France runner-up Jean-Christophe Péraud.

But now, in the shadows of the COVID-19 pandemic, Péraud’s job officially came to an end on June, according to the French daily L’Equipe.

With the cycling season suspended due to the global health crisis, the UCI’s own budget has see cuts as the federation is missing fees it collects from races. As a result, the UCI has had to streamline its own organization.

“The UCI did not manage to guarantee to the public that technological fraud does not exist,” Péraud told L’Equipe on Monday. “On a personal level, I am not aware that there is fraud at the highest level of competition. But the UCI did not manage to guarantee in the eye of the public that there is no fraud. And there is nothing harder than proving that something does not exist. There is still a doubt in the minds of the public.”

The news comes just weeks after a two-year inquiry into motor doping by French authorities was called to a close having found no additional evidence of technological cheating in elite cycling. L’Equipe reported last month that the UCI had not responded to requests from investigating body the PNF (the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office) for assistance in the investigation.

In the past UCI president David Lappartient had stated that while the fight against mechanical doping was expensive, “no price was too high.”