PARIS (AFP) - International riders association (CPA) president Gianni Bugno has called for life bans for those caught with motorised bicycles.
Bugno, a twice former world champion and two time Giro d'Italia winner during his racing career, was speaking to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera a day after the newspaper and French TV programme Stade 2 claimed to have detected possible cases of technological doping during the Strade Bianche and Coppi e Bartali races in March.
Bugno called on the International Cycling Union (UCI) to get tougher on cheats and do more to weed them out.
"The CPA is asking for the UCI to impose exemplary and severe sanctions such as life bans for the riders who commit offences because they throw mud all over the honest cycling of the majority," Bugno said.
During its report, Stade 2 had used a thermal camera to detect heat sources it claimed could point to the use of a motor in the bicycle.
While there have been rumours motorised bicycles have been used for years, the only rider to be caught with a motor was Belgian under-23 cyclo-cross competitor Femke Van den Driessche.
Bugno called for the UCI to use thermal cameras but the world cycling governing body denied those would be more effective than current testing methods.
"The UCI has been testing for technological fraud for many years, and with the objective of increasing the efficiency of these tests, we have been trialling new methods of detection over the last year," the UCI said in a statement sent to cyclingnews.com.
"We have looked at thermal imaging, x-ray and ultrasonic testing but by far the most cost effective, reliable and accurate method has proved to be magnetic resonance testing using software we have created in partnership with a company of specialist developers.
"The scanning is done with a tablet and enables an operator to test the frame and wheels of a bike in less than a minute.
"We have tested bikes at many races this year (for example 216 at Tour of Flanders, 224 at Paris-Roubaix) and will continue to test heavily in all disciplines throughout the year. Co-operation from teams and riders as we have deployed these extensive tests has been excellent."