• An official uses a device to test for mechanical doping prior to the start of the fourth stage of the the Tour de France (AFP)Source: AFP
The UCI insists it remains committed to stopping mechanical doping despite the decision to dismiss anti-fraud manager Jean-Christophe Peraud.
Cycling Central

9 Jul 2020 - 10:44 AM  UPDATED 9 Jul 2020 - 10:49 AM

Peraud, the 2014 Tour de France runner-up, had led the UCI’s fight against technological fraud for the past three years, introducing measures such as thermal imaging, x-ray scanning and tagging to test competitor’s bikes for hidden motors.

While mechanical doping had been a major focus for UCI president David Lappartient since his election in 2017, cost-cutting measures in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and a lack of evidence in a recent French investigation into the issue forced the decision to remove Peraud.

The Frenchman told French newspaper L’Equipe he was disappointed with the call to dismiss him from his role as he had not completed what he had set out to do when he took on the job.

“The UCI has not succeeded in guaranteeing to the general public that this cheating doesn’t exist,” Peraud said.

“There’s nothing more difficult than proving that something doesn’t exist, and there’s still a doubt in the mind of the public.”

Originally competing in mountain biking events, Peraud made the move to full-time road cycling in 2010 and rode for Omega Pharma-Lotto and AG2R La Mondiale.

Peraud, who retired from the sport in 2016, claimed his best result at the 2014 Tour de France when he finished second.

The 43-year-old is unsure what his next step will be but is driven to move away from the admirative side of the sport.

"I learned a lot at the UCI but I went to get back into the sporting side of things. I'd like to work on performance optimisation in a cycling team, bringing together all the different elements – athletes, directors, doctors..." he told L'Equipe.

"I don't have any specific training but I can use my own experience; I've always been on the hunt for performance through all possible training methods."