Motorized Doping. How far does the metaphor go?
It’s a strange term, motorized doping.
First it was just a clever twist on your standard pharma doping but nobody other than conspiracy theorists and chat board rumor-hounds paid much attention. It was cycling comedy, a kind of dark humor that only a sport with a dark past could appreciate.
Now, it’s actual fact. The UCI has caught a rider using a Wilier Triestina race bike with a motor at the World Cycl0-cross Championships. Femke Van den Driessche — and Team Kleur op Maat — have now made doping history. Chapeau with syringe and electric wires sticking out of it.
In any case, now we have to ask ourselves how far the motorized doping metaphor will go.
Will there be coded messages on rider cell phones explaining how to use the illegal motor?
Will there be an excuse from a rider who is caught that he only used the motor once? That all his other performances were legitimate, that he was “off the motor” then?
Will there be UCI mechanical vampires who show up on a rider’s doorstep at 5am on Sunday demanding to examine his race bike?
Will there be a Bike Whereabouts Program and will riders have to let the UCI know at all times where their bikes are?
Who is the mechanical engineer version of Dope Doctor to the Stars, Michele Ferrari?
Will there be police raids at team hotels, searching the rooms for batteries and spare wires and spare motor parts?
Will mechanical doping has masking agents that are applied to the bike frame to prevent x-ray or heat-sensing equipment from detecting the motor?
Will the classic “I had good legs today” become “I had a fast motor today?”
Things could get pretty exciting on the motorized doping front.