Speaking to Belgian television this week, Tom Boonen (Etixx-Quickstep) called the act of using mechanical doping, as the “lowest of the low”. But, given the heightened level scrutiny it’s receiving by race officials now, he no longer believes it’s being used in the peloton.
Still, Boonen doesn’t dispute it’s existence amongst the peloton in the past, saying, he believes there were riders who may have resorted to mechanical doping, but recent stories on the subject have been sensationalized.
“You are naive if you think built-in motors on bikes do not exist,” Boonen told the Sporza show Extra Time Koers, which also had BMC’s Greg Van Avermaet as a guest. “If it exists there will certainly be riders who have tried it but I do not think that’s still happening.
“I do believe that there are many journalists making a sensation and they want to write sensational news.”
Mechanical doping once again made the headlines last weekend, when the French television channel, Stade 2, and Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, claimed that hidden motors had been used during this year’s Strade Bianche and Coppi e Bartali.
In response, Boonen told the Belgian program, that he would never consider using a motor, saying that no self-respecting rider would.
“Every great rider who respects himself should never ride with a motor in his bike. That is the lowest of the low. I would never think of doing that. There is nothing as simple as detecting a motor in a bike.”
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