The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) wishes to make the following statement concerning its work on technological fraud following media reports published on Sunday.
When UCI President Brian Cookson was elected in September 2013, there were no rules targeting technological fraud, no proper sanctions, no significant resources dedicated to the area, and no system of control and inspection.
These have been put in place in the past four years, in particular:
• Rules and sanctions were introduced and can be found in article 1.3.003 and 1.3.010 of the UCI Regulations;
• Significant staffing resource and systematic controls and checks have been introduced (over 40,000 in the past two years). These include, for example, over 4,000 controls undertaken during the 2017 Tour de France and 1,000 at the UCI Grand Fondo World Championships end of August.
Throughout, the UCI has conducted this work with transparency and in partnership with its stakeholders. For example, in May 2016, 20 leading media from around the world were at the UCI headquarters for a thorough presentation and discussion of its work in this area.
The main testing method currently used by the UCI, magnetic resistance scanning, has proved to be highly effective both in tests and in actual use. It has also been independently verified by Microbac, a US-based industrial testing laboratory, who found that “the UCI Scanner detected the hidden motor in 100% of the scans executed by trained staff”. The full test report is available on our website.
The system is comprised of three main parts, all of which are essential – as is correct utilisation:
• Adapter to create a fixed magnetic field;
• Calibrated software.
Like any testing equipment, our scanners must be used correctly to be effective. We provide extensive training to our operators on how to use the equipment and how to interpret the results. It is clear that the people using our device in Sunday’s Stade 2 report had had no training. We have, immediately following the report, offered to meet with them to demonstrate how to use our scanners effectively.
Our training always emphasises that the scanner is for initial controls and that bikes must be dismantled should any suspicion of the presence of a motor or any other hidden device be indicated.
The UCI has of course analysed many alternative forms of detection, and indeed continues to make use of alternative methods in combination with magnetic resistance scanners to ensure a varied testing protocol. However, all alternative forms are not suitable to be the main or exclusive form of detection.
Thermal imaging has been used on a number of occasions and can be useful, but is limited as it would only detect a motor when in use, or shortly after use when a motor is warm. We also occasionally use X-ray, but this is relatively slow, requires a great deal of space to ensure public safety, and is subject to widely varying legislation from country to country.
We continue to work with our partners to ensure we keep up to date with developments in this area and are grateful to the many people and organisations who have helped us develop a highly effective suite of controls and the associated rules and sanctions for potential infringements. We remain committed to this work and welcome all input and suggestions as to how this can be developed further. All stakeholders in cycling have a common interest to demonstrate that cheating has no place in our sport.
If anyone believes they have information that we should be aware of, we ask them to please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.