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Pro-cyclist banned for six years over motorised doping

Femke Van den Driessche has been suspended for six years. Credit: PA

Belgian rider Femke Van den Driessche has been suspended for six years by the UCI in the first case of motorised doping in cycling.

Disciplinary proceedings began in March after the 19-year-old allegedly used a bike containing a motor at January's UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Belgium.

The UCI announced on Tuesday that its disciplinary commission banned Van den Driessche for violating its rules relating to "technical fraud" while she has also been fined 20,000 Swiss Francs (£14,000) and been ordered to pay legal costs.

A Union Cycliste Internationale statement read: "Ms Femke Van den Driessche is found to have committed a violation of art. 1.3.010 in combination with art. 12.013bis (technological fraud) of the UCI Regulations.

"Ms Femke Van den Driessche is suspended for a period of six years starting from and including October 11, 2015 and ending on October 10, 2021."

UCI president Brian Cookson said last month that the world governing body would request the toughest possible sanctions.

Bikes have been scanned by the UCI at major competitions across all disciplines, including the Tour de France, in recent years following rumour and speculation regarding motors hidden in frames.

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Pooley to race with Armitstead at Tour de Yorkshire

Pooley retired from professional cycling following the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Credit: PA

Emma Pooley will race alongside world champion Lizzie Armitstead in the Great Britain team at the Asda Women's Tour de Yorkshire on April 30.

Pooley retired from professional cycling following the 2014 Commonwealth Games to turn her attentions to long-distance triathlon and duathlon. She won the long-distance duathlon (cycling and running) world titles in 2014 and 2015.

She has been tempted to return to cycling by the undulating time-trial course for the Rio Olympics, where she is also expected to be selected in support of Armitstead for the road race.

The 33-year-old, who won Olympic time-trial silver in Beijing in 2008, will line up alongside Armitstead for the 135-kilometres race, which begins in Otley and finishes in Doncaster.

She said: "I'm really looking forward to joining up with my Great Britain team-mates for the Women's Tour de Yorkshire race and I'm looking forward to racing on the road again."

British Cycling technical director Shane Sutton said: "Emma is a phenomenal athlete and will be an asset to the team. Emma has committed herself to training for the Olympic time-trial event in Rio, and we appreciate and support the sacrifice she is making to be in the best possible shape for this event."

Cyclist given 18-month ban for taking cocaine

The Katusha rider said in Gazzetta dello Sport he sought help for addiction to sleeping pills. Credit: PA

Italian Luca Paolini has been suspended for 18 months following his positive test for cocaine at the 2015 Tour de France, the UCI has announced.

Paolini was provisionally suspended on July 10 after testing positive on July 7 for a metabolite of the recreational drug after the cobbled fourth stage of the Tour.

The case was heard by the UCI anti-doping tribunal, which ruled the 39-year-old's positive test was "non-intentional" and, if the 18-month ban is applied from the date of his positive test, which is ordinarily the case, he will be eligible to return in January 2017.

The Katusha rider said in Gazzetta dello Sport he sought help for addiction to sleeping pills after his positive test for cocaine.

A statement from the UCI, cycling's world governing body, read: "The anti-doping tribunal found the rider guilty of a non-intentional anti-doping rule violation (presence of a cocaine metabolite - benzoylecgonine) and imposed an 18-month period of ineligibility on the rider."

The full decision was to be published on the UCI website.

Stannard equals best performance by Briton at Paris-Roubaix

Team Sky's Ian Stannard finished third at the prestigious Paris-Roubaix race to equal the best performance by a Briton.

Stannard matched the achievements of Barry Hoban (1972) and Roger Hammond (2004) but was squeezed out in a sprint finish won by Orica-GreenEdge rider Mathew Hayman.

Ian Stannard finished third at the prestigious Paris-Roubaix race. Credit: PA

The Australian's dash to the line in the Roubaix velodrome ended the hopes of Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep) winning an historic fifth Paris-Roubaix, the Belgian veteran having to settle for second.

The 37-year-old Hayman came from the day's early break and remained in the elite five-man group who entered the velodrome, which included Boonen, Stannard, Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) and Sep Vanmarcke (LottoNL-Jumbo).

Boonen hit the front in the velodrome as Stannard surged round the outside, but it was Hayman on the inside who powered through to become only the second Australian winner of the cobbled Classic.

The race started at a frenetic pace and was marked by a series of spectacular crashes, the first one on the early cobbled stages splitting the main peloton in two.

Another crash ruled out Fabian Cancellara and, while Peter Sagan somehow managed to avoid falling in the same incident, his hopes of getting back up to the front were effectively ended.

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Sir Chris Hoy to race in Le Mans 24 hour race

Sir Chris Hoy is moving to four wheels. Credit: PA

Six-time Olympic cycling champion Sir Chris Hoy will fulfil a lifelong dream by competing in the Le Mans 24 Hour race in June.

The 40-year-old, Britain's most successful Olympian after retiring following two gold medals in the velodrome at London 2012, will compete in the prestigious race, which was first run in 1923 and takes place overnight from June 18 to 19.

Hoy will drive a Nissan-powered Ligier JS P2 chassis at Le Mans' Circuit de la Sarthe, in the second tier of racing, with two team-mates.

Cyclist Myngheer dies following heart attack

Daan Myngheer had a heart attack during a race. Credit: Roubaix Lille Metropole

Belgian cyclist Daan Myngheer died on Monday night after suffering a heart attack while competing in the Criterium International on Saturday, his team has announced.

Myngheer became the second Belgian cyclist to die in as many days following the death of Antoine Demoitie on Sunday evening following a crash in the Gent-Wevelgem race.

The 22-year-old Myngheer abandoned the opening stage of the three-day Criterium International in Corsica on Saturday and was taken to hospital in Ajaccio, where he died on Monday evening surrounded by his family.

Cyclist Antoine Demoitié dies after being hit by motorbike

Antoine Demoitie died in hospital in Lille. Credit: PA

Belgian cyclist Antoine Demoitié has died after being hit by a motorbike following a fall during a race, police have said.

The 25-year-old team Wanty rider was struck during the Gent-Wevelgem race in Belgium on Sunday.

He was taken to a hospital in Lille after the accident in Sainte-Marie-Cappel, northern France.

His team had earlier tweeted that Demoitié's wife and family were with him and that he was in an "extremely serious" condition.

A police spokesman told AFP: "The rider died. An inquiry is under way to determine the circumstances."

The race was won by Slovakia's Peter Sagan.

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