Fabian Cancellara has denied using a motor in his bike during the Spring Classics, while Quick Step manager Patrick Lefevere thinks the possibility of motorized doping within the peloton could be a reality.
Last month the International Cycling Union (UCI) denied that such “mechanical doping” existed, but confirmed that they were investigating the issue. The theory is that small motors could be hidden inside the bike tubes, giving riders an unfair advantage.
Most recently, Italian journalist Davide Cassani tested such a bike and told Het Nieuwsblad, “Now I could ride and win the Giro. Even though I'm 50 years old.”
Most attention has been paid to Saxo Bank's Fabian Cancellara, whose impressive showings of strength saw him ride away alone in the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix this spring. The Swiss rider laughed the story off. “I've already heard that. Rest assured, my achievements are the result of hard work."
Patrick Lefevere, Quick Step team manager, took the possibility of “bike doping” seriously, but was careful to point out, “I don't accuse anyone.”
Unlike Cassani's comments he hadn't brushed it off so lightly. “Laugh? No, I do not laugh about it. It's too serious to laugh. That movie made me suspicious.”
"For a long time I also belonged to the non-believers, now I begin to doubt gradually," he said "Watch out. For me, everyone is innocent until proven otherwise. I do not participate in gossip, and I try not to be paranoid but now that I have seem the movie of Cassani, I see why the UCI is examining the matter thoroughly."
"It would be worse than doping,” Lefevere said. “Even pure theft.”