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Zwift racer banned for hacking data tries MyWhoosh... gets disqualified immediately

In December, Eddy Hoole was sacked by his team and banned from Zwift racing for six months for cheating during a world championships qualifier

The disgraced virtual cycling racer banned from Zwift races for six months, suspended by Cycling South Africa and sacked by his team after hacking data to win a world championships qualifier has now been disqualified from a MyWhoosh event and suspended from all of the platform's future races until further notice.

The news, reported by DC Rainmaker, comes after Eddy Hoole took part in one of MyWhoosh's Sunday Race Club (SRC) events, a series with a monthly prize pool of $314,000.

> MyWhoosh announces $1 million prize pot for online race series

Responding promptly to a complaint from a rider who called Hoole "the most famous virtual cycling cheater ever", MyWhoosh disqualified the South African racer, saying he has also been suspended "until further notice" for participating in a race while suspended by his national governing body. The platform 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, and suspended him from partaking in any MyWhoosh races until further notice.

Eddy Hoole has violated Clause of the MyWhoosh ruleset for participating in a MyWhoosh esports race while serving a suspension from Cycling South Africa

 It remains unclear if Hoole won the MyWhoosh event, the results now just show him as disqualified, but his power data is not dissimilar to the names at the top of the leaderboard, although admittedly far less impressive than the four-minute 526-watt (8.5w/kg) Zwift attack which ultimately saw him banned.

Hoole averaged 340w (5.3w/kg) during the MyWhoosh race which lasted a little under 80 minutes, peaking with a maximum five-minute power of 6.5w/kg, one-minute power of 7.1w/kg and five-second power of 9.2w/kg.

> Is Zwift racing 'cleaner' than pro road racing? Dissecting the furore around cheating in virtual cycling

The MyWhoosh user who spotted Hoole competing said "he is not even in my category, but I hate the idea of a cheater racing".

"I'm not saying he's cheating on MyWhoosh as well, but still, he sure lacks ethical standards and character and I'm sure many riders will be very skeptical with his performance given his past."

Addressing another comment on the topic of disqualifications, MyWhoosh said: "Fair racing and transparency are of crucial importance to us. Every rider in the MyWhoosh Championship will be vetted thoroughly before entry and the MyWhoosh Performance Verification Program will be closely monitoring every rider during the Championship to ensure any sort of malpractice and/or discrepancies are dealt with promptly."

 "Something we've almost never seen before"

Hoole's staggering November ride to win and qualify for the 2023 UCI eSports World Championships raised suspicions immediately, with mountain biker-turned-Zwift broadcaster Nathan Guerra describing the effort — which saw him drop the bunch on the final climb before flying past the former leaders with ease — as "something we've almost never seen before" and "what I thought was absolutely impossible."

Zwift racing E Hoole in-game the zommunique.com_

According to Zwift's investigation, Hoole's 526w attack at his given weight "equates to a sustained average power output of approx. 8.5 W/kg, a performance that requires a VO2max of over 90 mL/min/kg."

Eddy Hoole Zwift stats (Zwift)

"For comparison, these values are significantly greater than those that have been measured for Olympic pursuit champions and world record holders (average power output over 4min, approx. 7.5 W/kg) or Tour de France GC winners (VO2max, approx. 85 mL/min/kg)."

Banning Hoole from its platform for six months, Zwift's report also noted, damningly, that there was no "circumstantial evidence that might suggest that the rider is a globally significant world class athlete" and could not back up the ride in real life, only managing 400w during an independent test to prove his credentials.

Dan is the news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

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