"Doping" in Cycling: Now with Motors

Professional cycling fans are far too accustomed to doping scandals. But while everyone is focused on the Floyd Landis confession, a far more unusual allegation first surfaced at this year's Giro d'Italia, when the media speculated that some riders riders may be practicing "motorized doping" — or hiding motors on their bikes.

Obviously, in bicycle racing, motor equals cheating. But doping? Calling this "motorized doping" is like calling sex "penetrative celibacy." In any case, the UCI (cycling's governing body) has dismissed the accusations, but the newspaper behind the speculation, L'Avvenire, gave one example of a motor the riders could be using. It is a Hungarian product called the "Gruber Assist," and it comes complete with heavily-accented promotional video (above).

Not only that, but some now claim that Swiss cyclist Fabian Cancellara (one of the best riders in the world) has also used "motorized doping" this year to win two of the hardest races in pro cycling: the Tour of Flanders and Paris Roubaix. Here's the compelling (and poorly edited) video "evidence."

All of this seems unlikely as the "whirring" sound alone would give the cheater away, but nobody likes conspiracy theories like pro cycling fans. Hopefully the riders will not take these accusations lying down. (H-Zontal video via All Hail the Black Market.)