Tour de France bikes to be scanned for motors - UCI

Governing body taking it seriously

Bikes used at the Tour de France will be scanned to make sure they do not contain illegal motors, the International Cycling Union (UCI) announced on Friday.

The move comes following rumours that Fabian Cancellara used 'mechanical doping' during his victories in the Tour of Flanders and the Paris-Roubaix, which the Swiss Olympic time-trial champion strongly denied.

"The members of the management committee discussed issues concerning equipment used in road competitions and decided that it was necessary to bolster measures that have already been put in place (in particular the visual inspection of bicycles, a procedure that was recently reinforced)," read a UCI statement.

"As a result, a scanner will be used from the time of the Tour de France.

"This instrument, recently tested with a successful outcome, will allow an official to detect any illegal devices that may be concealed, for example, in the bicycle frame."

Suspicions that Cancellara had put a motor inside the frame of his bike were sparked by a much-watched video on the YouTube video-sharing website. His Saxo Bank team released a statement earlier in June refuting the claims.

The UCI's management committee, which met in Birmingham, England on Thursday and Friday, nonetheless decided to tighten their bike checking procedures.

"From now on race service will be subject to stricter regulation in order to ensure that only equipment that has been checked at the start or finish can be used during competitions," the UCI added.

The 2010 Tour de France begins in Rotterdam on July 3 and concludes in Paris on July 25.

© AFP 2010

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