UCI Statement: Femke Van den Driessche Technological Fraud Decision

Here is the full text of Femke Van den Driessche’s UCI disciplinary decision. Van den Driessche was found with a motor concealed in a bike  during the 2016 Cyclocross World Championships. As you will read in the statement below, she receives a six-year suspension and 20,000 CHF fine. She also loses her U23 European Championship and U23 Belgian Championship titles. Her team did not receive any disciplinary sanctions.

Full text from UCI:

The UCI announces Disciplinary Commission decision in the case of Femke Van den Driessche

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) today announces that its Disciplinary Commission has rendered its decision in the case of Belgian rider Femke Van den Driessche.

The UCI Disciplinary Commission issued the following decision:

  • Ms Femke Van den Driessche is found to have committed a violation of art. 1.3.010 in combination with art. 12.013bis (Technological fraud) of the UCI Regulations;
  • Ms Femke Van den Driessche is suspended for a period of 6 years starting from and including October 11, 2015 and ending on October 10, 2021;
  • As a consequence of her suspension, all competitive results achieved by Ms Femke Van den Driessche from and inclusive October 11, 2015, shall be disqualified. Her name and results shall be removed from the concerned ranking lists and Ms Femke Van den Driessche shall no longer hold any corresponding title (notably Under 23 European Champion title and Under 23 Belgian Champion title);
  • Ms Femke Van den Driessche is ordered to return the medals and the prize-monies she received in connection with the disqualified competitions to the respective organisers;
  • Ms Femke Van den Driessche is ordered to pay to the UCI a fine in the amount of CHF 20’000;
  • Ms Femke Van den Driessche shall pay the costs of the proceedings in an amount which will be determined in the full reasoned decision.

This decision follows the discovery of a concealed electric motor in one of the rider’s bikes during checks at the Women Under 23 race of the UCI Cyclo­cross World Championships in January 2016. The bike concerned was scanned using the new magnetic resonance testing deployed this year by the UCI. This detected the motor whilst the bike was in the rider’s pit area. The motor was a Vivaxwhich was concealed along with a battery in the seat-tube. It was controlled by a Bluetooth switch installed underneath the handlebar tape.

Over 100 bikes were scanned at the event and this new method of testing has proven in trials to be extremely effective in locating hidden motors or other forms of technological fraud as it quickly detects motors, magnetic fields and solid objects concealed in a frame or components.

The UCI has tested bikes at many races in different disciplines this year (for example 274 at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in London, 216 at the Tour of Flanders, 232 at Paris-Roubaix, 173 at the U23 Liège-Bastogne-Liège). It will continue to test heavily in all disciplines throughout the year.

UCI President Brian Cookson said: “We have invested considerable resources in developing this new and highly effective scanning technology and also in strengthening the sanctions applicable to anyone found cheating in this way. This case is a major victory for the UCI and all those fans, riders and teams who want to be assured that we will keep this form of cheating out of our sport.”

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3 thoughts on “UCI Statement: Femke Van den Driessche Technological Fraud Decision

  1. Oof and has to return all the prize money since that date. Ouch.

    Glad a final decision was made…

  2. I am conflicted on this one, I presume the UCI is of the opinion if you cheat by using a motor hidden in your bike it is more cheating than if you endanger your short term health and possibly shorten your lifespan injecting drugs into your body that are meant to help cancer patients and in some cases cure animals of various ailments, odd signal our governing body is sending. To my way of thinking, cheating is cheating, how many watts does the motor she had in her bike give the rider, versus how many watts boost does one get from using a drug like EPO?
    Question for Amanda, do her UCI points get redistributed from all her fraudulent races? I also presume you were being ironic in regards to the prize money, given the often sorry state of women’s euro cross payouts.
    What was written about this young ladies father and brother it sounds like she did not have the most solid building blocks from which to make good decisions.

  3. The question of UCI points getting redistributed is a good point that I hadn’t thought of. In all those races after October 11, 2015, with her now “disqualified” how does that affect the results for everyone else? Her getting removed from the ranking list will obviously shift that and bump one more person into the top 50.. but then will all those races she is now disqualified from get recalculated?

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