A comprehensive investigation by RadioCycling has shed light on the inconsistencies and lack of effective mechanical doping testing in professional cycling, despite claims by the UCI to conduct testing at all UCI WorldTour events and UCI Women's WorldTour events.
The report comments that it was discovered that technological fraud tests were not conducted on four of the 21 stages of this year's Giro d'Italia, including time trial stages 1 and 10. In addition, X-ray technology, a key tool in the detection of mechanical doping, was not used in the first grand tour of the season.
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The problem extends beyond the Giro d'Italia. In major events such as the Tour de France, neither magnetic pill nor X-ray tests were carried out on stage 21 in Paris. The lack of testing has also been observed in other prestigious races, such as the Volta a Catalunya, the Tour of Scandinavia and the Tour Down Under, among others.
In the case of Paris-Nice, one of cycling's most important races, no events were held on stages 5, 7 and 8. Milan-San Remo, the women's Paris-Roubaix and the women's Flèche Wallonne were also affected, with limited cycling events.
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In the absence of effective and credible evidence, senior UCI officials reportedly expressed doubts about the possible use of motors in the peloton, according to RadioCycling. In response to this concern, RadioCycling requested data from 51 men's and women's WorldTour races. Of the 51, only 24 provided information, while 12 stated that the UCI had not shared figures and 15 did not respond.
The UCI, in its statement, defended its program against technological fraud, stating that a total of 4,280 tests were conducted in 2023, using magnetic tablets in 3,777 of them and X-ray technology in 503 tests. According to the UCI, all tests were negative.