Thomas voeckler has spoken out about mechanical doping, claiming that he raced against cheats that used hidden motors. The Frenchman called time on his 17-year long career at the end of the Tour de France last year. He is set to become a pundit for French broadcast France Televisions next month, as per reports.

The retired rider was active in an era where cycling struggled to clean the sport. He has always denied doping himself but there were several cases involving his mates. He was initially skeptical but now believes that there was mechanical doping as side the well documented chemical cases.

“At first, when I heard people talking about it, I laughed, I said to myself, ‘what have they found now to damage cycling? Later, seeing certain reports, I was convinced that some have taken us for fools and used a motor,” Voeckler told French sources Le Parisien.

The issue of mechanical doping has gained prominence over the years especially as technology got more sophisticated. The regulatory body UCL included scans using a tablet device in response to the allegations but there are doubts as to the effectiveness of such methods.

The new UCI chief David Lappartient has promised to tackle the issue better as he defeated Brian Cookson to the top job. The UCI gave Belgian Femke van den Driessche a six year ban in 2016 for using a hidden motor in one of her bikes at the cyclo-cross Worlds.

Voeckler opines that the tests would have reduced the chances of using hidden motors as it was not complicated to eradicate compared to the chemical means. Voeckler, when asked, said he would not be surprised if Lance Armstrong used hidden motors. Armstrong is banned for life for using different sort of sophisticated doping means in his 15-year career.