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Team Saxo Bank rejects insinuations of mechanical doping

By:
Cycling News
Published:
June 03, 2010, 15:31 BST,
Updated:
June 03, 2010, 17:00 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Friday, June 4, 2010
Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) during his 10km solo effort to the finish of Flanders

Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) during his 10km solo effort to the finish of Flanders

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Team describes video as a work of fiction

Team Saxo Bank has issued a strongly worded statement denying that Fabian Cancellara or any rider in Bjarne Riis' team has ever used any form of ‘mechanical doping’ and has dismissed a popular video circulating on the internet that investigates the use of an electric engine as ‘a work of fiction, disguised as documentary.’

“Team Saxo Bank rejects all insinuations and accusations that have been made in the media regarding Fabian Cancellara's alleged use of an electric motor in his bike. Team Saxo Bank is strongly opposed to any form of cheating and there is absolutely no truth to this story. There was not and never has been a motor in any Team Saxo Bank rider's bike,” the statement reads.

“Fabian's victories in Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix embody everything that is beautiful about our sport, strength, endurance, suffering, passion, drama and teamwork. Fabian's victories are the result of dedication, hard work and sacrifice as well as his unique ability to rise to the occasion when striving to reach his goals. We are confident that the public can see through the nonsense this myth has presented and respect Fabian for what he is. A true Champion.”

Video accusations

Suggestions that professional riders had used an electric motor to help them turn the pedals and so save precious energy, first appeared in the Italian press during the Giro d’Italia. The Il Giornale newspaper said that a small motor and battery that helps turn the cranks could be hidden in the seat tube of a frame, giving a boost of 50 watts of power.

Italian television commentator and former professional Davide Cassani then showed what he claimed was a bike fitted with a motor on television last Wednesday, going as far as saying that it would produce enough power to help him win a stage at the Giro d’Italia, despite now being 50 years old. Cassani did not reveal the make of the bike or how he got it but claimed it has been used in professional races as far back as 2004.

Over the weekend, a carefully edited video appeared on YouTube, noting unusual hand movements by Fabian Cancellara before he attacked and won the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix in April. Thus far, the video has been viewed over 1.4 million times.

Cancellara has flatly denied ever using a motor-boosted bike and now his Saxo Bank has issued a similar statement.

On Wednesday the UCI revealed that it will hold a meeting with its experts and bike industry representatives next Monday.

The full statement from the Saxo Bank team:

Team Saxo Bank rejects all insinuations and accusations that have been made in the media regarding Fabian Cancellara's alleged use of an electric motor in his bike. Team Saxo Bank is strongly opposed to any form of cheating and there is absolutely no truth to this story. There was not and never has been a motor in any Team Saxo Bank rider's bike.

In principle, Team Saxo Bank does not comment on rumours. However, with the irresponsible distribution of this story and related video, a myth has been developed that needs to be addressed. We will not participate in the furthering of this story and find the marketing platform now created for the engine manufacturer completely out of place and unwarranted. We are confident that the majority of those people who have come across this video see if for exactly what it is, a creative, amateur artist's attempt to express a purely hypothetical idea that has not basis of fact or truth. It is a work of fiction, disguised as documentary.

We regret if this has led anyone to view Team Saxo Bank in a negative way and we are deeply offended by the questioning of Fabian Cancellara's integrity, character and abilities. Fabian possesses incredible ability and talent and is a true professional. Fabian has provided Team Saxo Bank and cycling fans the world over with countless memorable victories and tremendous performances. Fabian's victories in Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix embody everything that is beautiful about our sport, strength, endurance, suffering, passion, drama and teamwork. Fabian's victories are the result of dedication, hard work and sacrifice as well as his unique ability to rise to the occasion when striving to reach his goals. We are confident that the public can see through the nonsense this myth has presented and respect Fabian for what he is. A true Champion.

There will be no further Team comment on this situation as we feel the insinuations do not warrant further time or energy.

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