Mechanical doping checks carried out at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

LottoNL-Jumbo among those subject to UCI checks

Several bikes were subject to inspection by UCI personnel ahead of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday, with scanning equipment used to make sure there was no mechanical doping at the race. 

The UCI staff had a hand-held scanning device, which was used to check for motors that might have been hidden in the frames of bikes. The same device was also used to scan riders' rear wheels, after electromagnetic wheels were said to represent the 'new frontier' of mechanical duplicity. 

The LottoNL-Jumbo team posted a video on Twitter of one of their bikes being checked, which you can watch below. 

Mechanical doping, rumoured since around 2010 but without substantial evidence it was going on, became a hugely pressing issue for the UCI and the sport in late January when a motor was found in the bike of cyclo-cross rider Femke Van den Driessche. In the aftermath, UCI president Brian Cookson vowed to increase the scale and number of checks at races, using more sophisticated technology, saying: "Please don’t delude yourself that we haven’t been taking this seriously."

These checks come after similar checks at La Méditerranéenne earlier this month.

It is unclear at this stage how many teams and bikes were subject to inspection.

More to come. 

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