OK, to be fair it was about 14 minutes of coverage that aired over the weekend on the CBS program 60 Minutes. In the segment titled “Enhancing the Bike” news magazine correspondent Bill Whitaker leads off with a nicely inflammatory statement that “the sport of cycling is notorious for its culture of cheating…” From there 60 Minutes heads to Hungary to talk with Istvan Varjas who claims to be the pioneer of hiding motors inside bikes for almost two decades. Varjas has popped up in the cycling news streams a good bit over the last couple years, especially after the young Belgian crosser was caught last year. He puts Whitaker on a bike with a hidden motor to try and tells CBS News that yes, pro riders are competing on these bikes.
60 Minutes also sat down with the former testing director for French anti-doping authorities who tells that they have been told that a dozen riders raced the 2015 Tour with hidden motors. Then CBS News pulls in Tyler Hamilton to test a motor-doped bike, links Varjas’ motors to infamous Dr. Michele Ferrari within the last 3 years, and infers a link to Team Sky possibly racing the Tour de France time trials with motorized wheels. 60 Minutes doesn’t present any hard proof of current pro peloton motor doping, but they certain make a case that many people will see as rather damning.
We can’t embed the 60 Minutes segments here, but you can go to the CBS News page for the story’s video. Just beware that the video will autoplay and won’t work with ad blockers turned on. There is also another 6 minute clip with a further look at how the newest motor doping tech may be going into wheels with embedded induction electromagnets.
Feel free to discuss in the comments after the break…