Electric Motor Found in Cyclist's Bike

March 23, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. fraud / frɔd / (n.) – a crime caused by dishonesty
Example: The thief was arrested for credit card fraud after he used my card in a store.

2. withdrawal / wɪðˈdrɔ əl / (n.) – the act of removing oneself from an activity or event
Example: There have been no withdrawals in this year’s tournament.

3. confiscate ˈkɒn fəˌskeɪt / (v.) – to take and keep by authority
Example: The coach confiscated their cellphones during their practice session.

4. detain / dɪˈteɪn / (v.) – to keep under restraint
Example: A violent fan in the game was detained.

5. circulation / ˌsɜr kyəˈleɪ ʃən / (n.) – the movement of something among people
Example: Rumors that she was taking drugs have been in circulation since last year.


Read the text below.
A Belgian cyclist is facing allegations of technological fraud after an electric motor was found in her bike.

The bike allegedly belonged to Femke van den Driessche of Belgium, who pulled out of the World Cyclo-Cross Championship because of a mechanical problem. After her withdrawal, the motor was discovered in the frame of the bike, which was immediately confiscated.

The International Cycling Union (ICU) said that the bike would remain detained for continued investigation in line with the organization's rules regarding technological fraud. However, Van den Driessche quickly denied the cheating allegations. She explained that the bike with the motor belonged to her friend, who brought it to the race.

Although this is the first instance of technological fraud to be publicized, rumors of modified bikes have been in circulation since 2010. In that year, Swiss cyclist Fabian Cancellara was accused of using a tiny electric motor in his bike to improve his performance, but nothing was proven. Aware of the possibility of this method of cheating, the ICU had been testing numerous bikes in races for several months using scanners and small cameras. ICU president Brian Cookson said that the organization will test all bikes, even those kept in team vehicles, if that is what it will take to keep the sport cheat-free.

The case is currently under investigation by the ICU's disciplinary commission. If van den Driessche is found guilty of technological fraud, she will be suspended for at least six months and fined an amount between 20,000 and 200,000 Swiss francs.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         How should athletes who are caught cheating be punished?
·         Why do you think some athletes cheat to win?

Discussion B

·         Is cycling a popular activity in your country? Why or why not?
·         Is cycling better as a sport or as a hobby? Why do you say so?

March 23, 2016