Belgian rider hit with six-year ban for using engine


The UCI has banned Belgian rider Femke Van den Driessche for six years after discovering a concealed motor in one of her bikes at the Cyclo-cross World Championships in January.

An investigation was launched by cycling's governing body following claims an engine was fitted to her bike in the under-23 race at the event.

Van den Driessche has subsequently been found guilty of mechanical doping and has been ht with a lengthy suspension which is backdated to October 11 2015.

She has also been fined 20,000 Swiss francs and stripped of all medals and prize monies in that time, with a UCI statement adding: "As a consequence of her suspension, all competitive results achieved by Ms Femke Van den Driessche from and inclusive October 11, 2015, shall be disqualified.

"Her name and results shall be removed from the concerned ranking lists and Ms Femke Van den Driessche shall no longer hold any corresponding title (notably Under 23 European Champion title and Under 23 Belgian Champion title)."

UCI president Brian Cookson labelled the decision as a "major victory for the UCI".

"We have invested considerable resources in developing this new and highly effective scanning technology and also in strengthening the sanctions applicable to anyone found cheating in this way," he said. 

"This case is a major victory for the UCI and all those fans, riders and teams who want to be assured that we will keep this form of cheating out of our sport."