For this first time in history, a cyclist has been accused of "technological doping," whereby her bike was found to have a tiny electric motor inside of it, helping to give her an unfair boost.
This kind of cheating has been suspected in the past; however it has never been proven — until now. The cyclist in question is a 19-year-old Belgian cyclist Femke Van den Driessche, who was participating in the cyclocross World Championships.
"It is no secret that a motor was found," said UCI President Brian Cookson in a statement. "We believe that it was indeed technological doping."
Despite the findings, Van den Driessche herself denied the accusations, suggesting that she didn't know anything about a motor in her bike, and had no idea how the bike got there in the first place.
"It's not my bike," she said in an interview with Belgian broadcaster Sporza. "There was nothing in the bike that I used at the start of the race. I train hard for it too, you know. Then it's no fun to be accused like this."
Whether or not she knew about the issue or she was using a bike that wasn't hers, there was indeed a motor found inside of the bike that she was using, and because of that she faces a six-month ban and a fine of up to 20,000 Swiss francs or about $20,000, although her punishment could end up being far more severe.
According to reports, there are a number of methods for scanning bikes to determine whether or not they emit radio frequencies that match electric motors. The bike first raised suspicion when her bike developed mechanical problems, and rumors quickly spread that there was something seriously wrong with the bike. If the allegations end up being correct, Van den Driessche will become the first technological doper in cycling.