ITU Combats Mechanical Doping

Triathletes and Duathletes can only rely on their body’s motor, not a motor hidden inside their bike, now that the International Triathlon Union (ITU) has licensed technological fraud software from Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) to combat mechanical doping in all events on the international triathlon calendar.

Last week ITU technical officials received training on UCI’s software, which uses magnetic resistance technology to detect fraud. Officials use an iPad mini to scan bikes for disruptions. Read all about the new announcement here.

UCI tested 600 bikes before the opening prologue of  Giro d’Italia. The organization said it planned to test 10,000 bikes this season.

Is mechanical doping a thing? It could be, but not yet. So far, only one cyclist has been caught with a hidden motor: Femke Van den Driessche at the 2016 Cyclocross World Championships.

Is it a thing with amateur athletes? It could be. Vivax, the company that manufactures the Vivax-Assist conversion kits, which can go unnoticed on a road bike, told Cyclist magazine that its customers were primarily people over 60 who were trying to keep up with riding partners.

100 to 200 watts for $2,000-$3,000? Not worth it.

I won’t go into a diatribe about cheating. There are plenty of essays and comments out there already that talk about all the reasons why cheaters embody the antithesis of what sport is about. Officials and the public have caught amateur athletes cutting marathon and Ironman courses and taking performance enhancing drugs to win road races and crits. The cheaters deprive true champions of medals, prize money, and on a professional level, possible sponsorship deals and more prize money. Boggles the mind.

Speaking of doping, I’m fixin’ to read (as they say in the south!) a story from ProPublica and the BBC where the former chief investigator of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said WADA’s president thwarted his efforts to investigate state-sponsored doping in Russia. I’m sure it’s an interesting read. Let me know your thoughts.

And now, after all this doping talk, enjoy watching the Olympics! I caught much of the men’s road race today after a very long run in the Berkeley hills. I saw the race with more than 100K to go, took a nap, then saw the exciting, unexpected finish. (It was a long race!)

Whether you’re running, riding, or doing a bit of both, enjoy the rest of your weekend. And don’t feel bad if that guy or gal flies by you on a climb. He or she probably uses a hidden motor…right?



One thought on “ITU Combats Mechanical Doping

  1. Pingback: Motor Doping coming to 60 Minutes – Du It For You

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