“I think it’s [mechanical doping] probably been around for a while. For five years now they’ve had this suspicion because they’ve been checking the bikes. I think it is the first one they’ve found, but I’m sure that it has happened in the past, but they haven’t found them. It’s just one of those things,” believes Wiggins.
Under the current rules, the minimal sentence Van den Driessche faces is a six-month ban and a fine of 20,000 CHF. Cycling personalities believe the punishment should be much more severe though.
“They have to suspend for life, for me they have to suspend for life,” says Eddy Merckx and Wiggins agrees with the Belgian legend.
“Aside from ethics, you’ve got to ask a lot of questions of the athlete, especially the girl that they found it on because she was the favourite to win the race anyway. I can understand why people would dope in terms of what’s to be gained from it financially but to stick a motor in your bike, I don’t understand the logic behind that and winning a race because you’ve got an extra 200-odd watts in your bottom bracket. It is the same thing as doping, but I can’t see the logic in it,” said Wiggins.
— Team WIGGINS Le Col (@OfficialWIGGINS) February 4, 2016
Lifetime ban is not the only consequence Femke Van den Driessche might be facing. She claims the bike in question belongs to a family friend and her mechanics prepared it simply by mistake, but that doesn’t seem to interest Wilier Carbon Cross bike. The Italian company was shocked their product is associated with the whole scandal and are going to take legal actions against Van den Driessche and anyone responsible.