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Wilier Triestina says it will sue Belgian rider over alleged hidden motor use at cyclocross worlds

Published February 1, 2016

ZOLDER, Belgium (BRAIN) — The CEO of the Italian bike brand Wilier Triestina says the company will sue Belgian cyclocross racer Femke Van den Driessche, who is accused of using a hidden motor at the Cyclocross World Championships on Saturday.

Andrea Gastaldello posted a statement on the company website that said in part, "Our Company will take legal action against the athlete and against any responsible for this very serious matter, in order to safeguard the good name and image of the company, marked by professionalism and seriousness in 110 years of history."

Full Wilier Triestina statement.

Van den Driessche was competing in the U23 women's race when one of her pit bikes was examined by UCI officials and then confiscated. Van den Driessche, who was one of the race favorites, later dropped out of the race with mechanical problems. She races for the Belgium-based Kleur Op Maat-Nodrugs team, which is sponsored by Wilier Triestina. 

Van den Driessche and her father have told the press that the bike did not belong to her.

While so-called "motorized doping" has been rumored for a few years, this marks the first time a rider has been charged with attempting it. The UCI has been conducting random bike checks at some events for several years. 

UCI's president, Brian Cookson, held a news conference in Zolder to discuss the alleged offense. In a tweet, Cookson wrote, "Technological fraud is unacceptable. We want the minority who may consider cheating to know that, increasingly there is no place to hide, and sooner or later they will pay for the damage they're causing to our sport."

 

 

 

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