The UCI has referred Femke Van den Driessche’s mechanical doping case to its independent Disciplinary Commission for review, according to a statement from the UCI Wednesday.
“Pursuant to the UCI Regulations related to technological fraud, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has today referred the case to the Disciplinary Commission which will hear all relevant parties in the weeks to come,” the statement from the UCI read.
“Working independently from the UCI, the Disciplinary Commission is the body in charge of imposing sanctions for breaches of the UCI Regulations.”
Van den Driessche is accused of being the first rider caught concealing a motor in her racing bike during the under-23 women’s race at the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships on January 30.
UCI President Brian Cookson confirmed in a press conference following the race that the bike detained had a motor concealed inside its tubing, which goes directly against the UCI regulations surrounding technological fraud article 12.1.013.
Van den Driessche is the European and Belgium's U23 champion and she races for the trade team Team Kleur op Maat, which is sponsored by Wilier. The bike manufacturer has tried to distance itself from the situation and even threatened legal action against the rider.
Van den Driessche and her father denied the bike found in the mechanic’s pit was hers, claiming that it belonged to a friend, Nico Van Muylder, and that she sold it to him last season.
Van Muylder later claimed ownership of the bike in a report on Het Nieuwsblad.
Van den Driessche faces a ban of at least six-month and 20,000 Swiss franc fine.
The UCI also stated that it will make no further statements regarding the until a decision has been rendered.
Kirsten Frattini has been involved in bike racing from the grassroots level all the way to the World Cup. She is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. Kirsten has worked in both print and digital publishing. She started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006, and was responsible for reporting from the US and Canadian racing scene. Now as a Production Editor, she produces international race coverage for all cycling disciplines, edits global news and writes features.
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