Belgian press is reporting that Femke Van den Driessche, who was found to have a bike with a hidden motor in her pit area at the 2016 Cyclocross World Championships may only receive a 6 month ban as well as fine of at least 18,000 euros.
While the UCI already prohibits mechanical doping, there is no such explicit prohibition in the Flemish anti-doping regulations. As a result her ban could end up being 6 months, as opposed to 4 years, which is what is allegedly being sought in this case by the Flemish anti-doping agency and WADA.
Flemish MP Lionel Bajart has indicated in a press release that whether mechanical or biological, the idea behind the sanction is the same, to discourage cheating and punish those who are caught. However, he also cautioned that without explicit mention in the country’s anti-doping charter, there are questions as to whether full sanctions are just. He has, apparently, turned the matter over to Philippe Muyters, the Flemish Minister for Sport.
Stay tuned for more information on this story as it develops.