Hidden motor inventor received $2 million for Non Disclosure Agreement
Istvan Varjas told 60 Minutes that he designed a motor in 1998 and was offered nearly $2 million for a ten year exclusive Non-Disclosure agreement
Ahead of the 60 Minutes special on the use of mechanical doping,in cycling, the inventor of the hidden motors has said such motors may have been in the pro peloton for almost 20 years.
The Hungarian inventor absolved himself of any blame, saying "Not my responsibility if pro riders use such a machine".
“If a grandfather came and buy a bike and after it’s go to…his grandson who is racing, it’s not my problem,” he said to 60 Minutes. And, when asked if he would sell such a machine to someone who said to him they were going to use it to cheat" he answered: “if the money is big, why not?”
The show quotes triple Tour de France winner Greg LeMond, who has long spoken out against doping and mechanical doping too.
“This is curable. This is fixable. I don’t trust it until they figure out how to take the motor out. I won’t trust any victories of the Tour de France,” he stated.
In October Varjas first suggested long-term use of hidden motors in the peloton during an interview with the Irish radio show Off The Ball.
“It was the end of ‘98 and I had to stay quiet until 2009, for ten years. It was time for sleeping, ten years,” he told the journalist Ger Gilroy.
“In 1998 I just sold one prototype. To my friend. I got big money, I just go to sleep for ten years and I don’t do anything."
“This one was the first generation of these kind of motors, because these motors came from a military application. At that time it was able to miniaturize with powerful magnets. These motors became very small, you could put in any place. When you have a construction you can put it in any kind of bicycle, it is not a problem. It is just a matter of budget.”
Asked as to how much the prototype cost him, he said that he spent more than 80,000 USD in making it.
The 60 Minutes report will be broadcast in the US on Sunday January 29th at 7 p.m. EST / 4pm PST.