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Page last updated at 18:26 GMT, Friday, 18 June 2010 19:26 UK

UCI to introduce motor scanners for Tour de France

Fabian Cancellara
Cancellara has strongly denied any wrong-doing with his bike

Scanners to help combat 'mechanical doping' are to be introduced for next month's Tour de France.

Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara has been at the centre of allegations that motors were being placed in bike frames to power the pedals during a race.

The Olympic time-trial champion, 29, and his Saxo Bank team have strongly rejected these accusations.

With electronic gears permitted in bikes, the International Cycling Union feel it necessary to tighten checks.

Chris Boardman, Britain's former Tour de France yellow jersey wearer and one of the leaders in developing new bike technology, revealed he had met with the UCI, cycling's world governing body, and had informed them of the possibilities of placing a motor in the frame.

Following the accusations and reports circulating at the beginning of the month, Cancellara said: "It's so stupid I'm speechless."


While his team Saxo Bank insisted they were "strongly opposed to any form of cheating" and that there was "absolutely no truth to this story".

However, the UCI is determined to ensure the most prestigious race in the calendar, which starts in Rotterdam on 3 July and finishes in Paris on 25 July, is not blighted with further controversy.

A UCI statement read on Friday: "The members of the management committee discussed issues concerning equipment used in road competitions and decided 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).

Fabian Cancellera

Cancellara won the men's time trial at last year's World Championships

"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."

It added: "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 said on 3 June that Cancellara would not be investigated and they would hold talks with bike manufacturers.

"We want to make sure that, as batteries on bikes progress, the UCI is in a position to monitor completely any usage there might be in an unfair way," UCI chief Pat McQuaid told the Associated Press.

Cofidis team director Alain Deloeil was also keen on seeing stricter measures and said at the start of the month: "Cycling is about men riding their bikes, with their physical strength. If you add a motor, we'll soon be riding the 24 Hours of Le Mans Moto."

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see also
Cancellara targets cycling history
25 Sep 09 |  Cycling
Contador man to beat - Armstrong
14 Jun 10 |  Cycling

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