International Cycling Union (UCI) President David Lappartient has pledged to restore credibility of cycling in relation to the issue of mechanical doping.

Tests to prevent mechanical doping were introduced in 2016 but only one rider has been caught. Critics of UCI have raised questions on the robustness of the current testing protocol and determination of the world governing body of cycling to handle the matter.

Lappartient, who was elected president last September, had mentioned in his manifesto that he wants to totally eliminate mechanical doping from the sport. The UCI President has promised to outline his plans for the future by the end of the year before he would roll out a new program for detecting motors from the start of 2018.

The International Cycling Union chief also commented that we need to avoid any suspicion that we have it in our sport. Lappartient remarked it is really bad for our image and said he wants everyone to trust the credibility of the UCI. The Frenchman also remarked that he wants people to know that we are doing our best and checking in the most professional way. It was also commented by Lappartient that people should trust in the results of racing and this is what we have to deliver.

Lappartient said testing at races and events will become more robust in the coming year. The UCI President added heat guns would work alongside the criticized UCI tablets. Lappartient remarked the UCI concentrates on the top level, but we have to understand that we can have the same problem at all levels, even at mass participation events. The chief of International Cycling Union added it would be a disaster to see a guy at this low level using this kind of technology just to get his name in the newspaper.

Lappartient said Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme has asked the cycling’s world governing body to work on tackling the menace of mechanical doping. The UCI chief said we will be ready for the next season and during the winter we will make some announcement on this, probably at the beginning of December.

Less than a month after the election of Lappartient, a French amateur rider was caught with a motor in his bike at a local race. The incident highlighted the fear of many that mechanical doping had already spread to all levels of racing.

Lappartient also advocated for a reduction in team sizes to six riders per team. The newly elected UCI president also made a vow to stop the use of race radios in the sport over concerns that it may result in race fixing. Lappartient said the connection officially goes from a team car to the rider and added there is however nothing technologically that prevents him or anyone from calling the wearer of the yellow jersey during a stage of the Tour. The Frenchman said there have been no claims regarding the adverse use of race radios, but he wants to address the issue before it arise like that of mechanical and biological doping.

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