DQed Zwift Rider Tries His Luck Again (And He’s Local!)

Eddy Hoole was DQed from a Zwift race in December for digital doping, but he just can't seem to quit e-racing.

By Molly Hurford |

What do you do when you’ve been banned from one sport? Very publicly DQed from a world championships qualifier. Like many disgraced athletes before him, the answer for South African rider Eddy Hoole was simple: Find a new platform to race on. After being banned from Zwift in December after a digital doping incident during a World Championship qualifying race, Hoole was given a six-month ban from Zwift Island.

But Zwift isn’t the only game in town, even if it is the biggest (and the host for UCI Cycling Esports World Championships as well as the esport Olympics). There are other racing platforms, including the lesser known MyWhoosh, which was hosting a competition with a surprisingly stellar $300,000 (R5 400 000-ish)  prize purse. (Yes, you read that right. And yes, that is a depressingly large prize purse compared to pretty much any off-road or women’s real-world cycling event. Cue the sad trombone.)

But back to the story. In December, Hoole was ousted from his team, Toyota CRYO RDT, as well as from Zwift after being accused of digitally manipulating his data. When he won the race, Hoole surged up hill by averaging 526 watts for four minutes and 16 seconds. Sadly, as with far too may stories of ‘too good to be true numbers in pro cycling,’ it was.

The Zwiftian justice system worked swiftly and harshly, levying the ban quickly after crunching the numbers. (The ‘harsh’ part comes in when you read the public decision from the company, which includes gems like “It is also noted that there is no circumstantial evidence that might suggest that the rider is a globally significant World Class athlete. For example, the rider does not have any IRL cycling (or other IRL sport) results, and their typical training load amounts to around 3 hours a week of low intensity cycling on Zwift.”)

Don’t get on Zwift’s bad side.

But here’s the kicker: He wasn’t just banned by Zwift, he was also sanctioned by the UCI. Since the qualifying race he cheated in was a UCI sanctioned race, he’s also out of cycling for six months.

First reported by DC Rainmaker, Hoole’s return to racing just a couple months after his Zwift ban was levied was noticed by racers on MyWhoosh, and it lit up the site’s Facebook page. Now, technically, MyWhoosh isn’t a UCI-sanctioned racing platform. But they still frown upon digital dopers, especially when you take into account that the platform is paying out a whopping prize pool of R5.6-million per month for the SRC – Sunday Race Club. (Feel free to pause reading and get registered.)

On March 12, Hoole hopped into the race. After a Facebook outcry (it’s unclear if he won, but he likely finished in the money if people were pissed), MyWhoosh actually investigated, confirmed it was him, and promptly DQed him.

They then told DC Rainmaker, “At MyWhoosh we are committed to ensuring fair racing is maintained. Every rider who enters MyWhoosh’s esports racing events is subject to the MyWhoosh Performance Verification Program. After an internal investigation, the MyWhoosh Cycling Esports Race Commission has annulled Eddy Hoole’s participation from March 12th’s Sunday Race Club… Eddy Hoole has violated Clause of the MyWhoosh rule set for participating in a MyWhoosh esports race while serving a suspension from Cycling South Africa.”

It’s unclear whether or not he was racing with or without a digital boost on MyWhoosh, but hopefully he (finally) learned his lesson and stays out of races until his ban is up.

READ MORE ON: cheating doping e-doping zwift

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