By Isaac Chandler
October 8, 2019
Usually, when we hear about doping in competition, it’s often something like using steroids or, in the case of esports, Adderall, usually to give someone an advantage over their competition.
In the case of Cameron Jeffers, however, it was just getting an in-game item to be on the same level as his competition.
According to a report by Dextero, Jeffers had paid an unknown third-party to use a program on his account that would trick the game into thinking he’d been biking when he wasn’t, allowing him to unlock the Z1-Concept bike that all his competitors were using.
The bike required 50,000 km of elevation ridden to unlock, something that would’ve taken a month or longer to get if he’d done all the riding for it.
Jeffers would use the bike in the British Cycling’s eRacing Championships earlier in March to win the whole tournament. He earned himself a medal and the exclusive championship jersey both in real life and in the game.
The event organizers, British Cycling, found out about his program usage shortly after. They stripped him of his championship, also banning him for six months from competing and fining him $250.
His championship was also rewarded to the tournament runner-up, James Phillips.
It’s a strange situation, to say the least, as while he did use a program against the rules. Jeffers did remark how he’d done it before that rule had been established. Both he and British Cycling confirmed he hadn’t cheated during the event. So, it feels like this is a rather harsh punishment to give him, especially as he just unlocked a bike everyone else had in-game.
Perhaps the developers should unlock everything for competitors like most esports do or provide them special accounts solely for tournament play with specific content competitors are likely to need.
Either way, it’s a harsh sentence and doesn’t do the bike racing world any good after years of doping scandals, including the infamous doping scandal surrounding Lance Armstrong.
Hopefully, Jeffers learned his lesson from this and doesn’t suffer too much financially from this esports cycling doping situation, especially as there didn’t seem to be a cash prize for competing. Though, he does stream his e-biking outside of competition.