Prior to this year’s Tour de France, UCI announced that it would conduct the largest number of checks ever in order to stamp out mechanical doping.
In an interview with Off the Ball radio show, Istvan Varjas, the inventor of the hidden motors in cycling, said that UCI frustrated French police attempts to conduct the necessary screening to detect motors at this year’s race.
“This summer we had a very strange experience in the Tour de France,” Varjas told Ger Gilroy. “I was there with the LeMonds, with Kathy and Greg. They came, the Gendarmerie, to interrogate me. I asked them if they really wanted to grab the people using the motors. They said ‘yes, we are ready to fight against it. We want to grab the people who use it.’
“So I just told them what they need to do. They said they would do it. They went to make this kind of check, but the UCI refused to allow them to check the bikes.”
“If the organisation is not allowing to check the bikes…you can say every bad thing about me, but I have nothing to do with these cheaters. If you really want to get those using these motors, you can very easily grab them. I explained them how it is possible.
“The police tried to do this, but from the UCI they were not allowed to do it. They said it was not necessary.”
“You can ask Kathy (LeMond) and she can explain the story. I think it will be a big…this is the scandal, not who uses or doesn’t use it. There is an organisation who has to stop this problem and they don’t do it.
“I think they are accomplices or something like this. I can’t accuse, but this happened this summer. I was witness, Kathy was a witness, and the Gendarmerie were witnesses to this thing.”
Kathy LeMond confirmed the story: “Stefano did speak with the gendarmes at the Tour this year. He explained how the motor doping works and how to catch the cyclists using motors. The gendarmes were not able to test the bikes themselves and were relying on the UCI to carry out the tests.”
“The UCI refused to test the bikes in the manner Stefano recommended to uncover motor usage. Stefano believes the manner in which the UCI carried out the tests is insufficient to detect motor usage.”