Zwift suspends two more riders for manipulated data

Zwift cycling
Zwift is protecting its digital integrity (Image credit: Zwift)

Zwift has shown consistency in its policing of digital doping and discrepancies.

The immensely popular online training and racing app has realised that as prize money and status increase with its virtual events, the probability of cheating becomes a reality.

In the virtual riding realm, rider power outputs are used as a baseline to identify any possible discrepancies and data breaches during a digital race. Zwift has been strict on enforcement. Last year it banned two riders for incorrect data representation.

Staying ahead with software 

The latest riders to fall foul of Zwift’s strict data protocols are Antonina Reznikov and Selma Trommer. Both have been sanctioned until mid-July, with their six-month competitive Zwift suspensions triggered in early January.

Sophisticated software and a very active algorithm allow Zwift to find possible issues within its huge streams of user data. Connectivity and file convergence issues, especially when exporting or uploading race files, are some of the most contentious issues for Zwift to deal with.

Reznikov, who specializes as an ironman triathlete instead of being a specialist road rider, was suspected of varying her power data, which is used as a reference. Zwift’s analytics triggered when Reznikov’s racing data was 32% more powerful than her submitted values.

Despite Reznikov initially denying any wrongdoing, she eventually admitted to changing her data.

Selma Trommer is a German road rider and nine per cent higher power values submitted to Zwift drew the attention of verification analysts. Trommer tabled issues with uploading files to Garmin Connect, using Golden Cheetah to bridge the problem.

Using third party file conversion software was not seen as an adequate excuse, due to the fixed percentage increase in all Trommer’s outputs. She also admitted that her files had been edited, upon scrutiny from Zwift.

Reznikov and Trommer are both allowed to use Zwift in a training and social function, for the duration of their bans.

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Lance Branquinho is a Namibian born media professional, with 15-years of experience in technology and engineering journalism covering anything with wheels. Being from Namibia, he knows a good gravel road when he sees one, and he has raced some of Africa’s best-known mountain bike stage races, such as Wines2Wales and Berg&Bush.