Belgian quits cyclo-cross in motorized bike scandal

Updated Mar. 4, 2020 3:16 p.m. ET

BRUSSELS (AP) The Belgian cyclist at the heart of the sport's first mechanical doping scandal says she will not defend herself at a disciplinary hearing this week and is quitting the sport.

Femke Van Den Driessche, 19, was accused of using a concealed motor in her bike during the Under-23 cyclo-cross world championships in January in Belgium.

She says in a statement released Monday that the costs of defending herself before the sport's governing body, the UCI, would be too expensive.

The rider says she has ''decided to quit cyclo-cross'' and that ''acquittal would be impossible.''

The motorized bike was found in her competition area at the championships. She claimed the bike belonged to a friend.