Faced with doping during the 2000s, Thomas Voeckler is convinced that some runners have resorted to mechanical cheating. But he thinks this practice did not last long.
It was in the heart of the 2000s, in a decade marked by the domination of Lance Armstrong, that Thomas Voeckler made a place for himself in the hearts of the French. The rider from Jean-René Bernaudeau’s team embodied a certain idea of cycling, of values, in a sport that really needed it.
During his career, Voeckler was confronted with traditional doping, blood doping, which rotted the bicycle for several generations. But what about mechanical doping, an even more devious cheating? The former yellow jersey of the Tour is convinced that some riders have used it. “I am convinced that it existed, but I am also convinced that it did not exist for a long time”confides Voeckler in Liberation, without of course citing a name, or even a year, to support his suspicions.
– Grégory Schneider (@SchneiderGrgory) July 4, 2022
Cancellara, the first suspicions
Mechanical doping has been one of cycling’s sea serpents for several years. We know that this technology exists, but so far it has never been detected during a professional race, despite the controls put in place by the UCI.
The first suspicions fell on Fabian Cancellara, after his demonstrations on the Tour of Flanders and on Paris-Roubaix in 2010. “That motherfucker probably had an engine”, said former runner Phil Gaimon a few years ago. Same feeling with Franz De Cock, former teammate of Tom Boonen, Cancellara’s rival. ” Tom should have won the Tour of Flanders four times, believes the former Quick-Step runner, without however mentioning the name of the Swiss. Everyone knows that a strong rider won the Tour of Flanders with a motor in his bike. It was scandalous what happened that day. »
Read also: Mechanical doping: Cancellara accused like Armstrong!
Armstrong? “We may have the truth one day”
More recently, it was about Lance Armstrong that the suspicions arose. They were launched by Jean-Pierre Verdy, former president of the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD). “Lance Armstrong, it’s the most beautiful scam, he confided to Parisian last spring when his book came out Doping: My war against cheaters, adding“I am convinced that he resorted to mechanical doping. He sometimes made attacks in the last kilometers that were humanly impossible. Even with EPO, certified physiologists! We might get to the truth one day. »