Zwift bans triathlete for editing power file

(Photo: Zwift)

With Zwift Cycling Esports on the rise, Zwift is actively fighting cheating on its platform. After two riders received a ban of six months in November last year for manipulating power data, two more cyclists have received sanctions for supplying the wrong power data. One of them is Israeli triathlete Antonina Reznikov. In a report Zwift declares that by cheating the cyclists are “bringing the sport into disrepute.”

Reznikov was banned from Esports events after finishing fourth in the Women’s Race 1 event of the Zwift Racing League. From Jan. 11, 2021 until Jul. 10, 2021, she will not be allowed to participate in official (virtual) events.

Zwift rules state that athletes need two different power data sources when racing: the primary power data must come from a smart trainer or smart bike, and the other from a secondary source. In Reznikov’s case the Zwift Performance Verification Board (ZPVB) determined that she modified power data.

Zwift judged that power files supplied by Reznikov were 32 per cent higher than data that was previously recorded. While the triathlete originally denied modifying the file, she later admitted making changes to it before uploading.

According to Reznikov the “new” file didn’t contain the warm-up section of the ride, which resulted in higher power data. Also, she stated that there would be no need for her to manipulate the data as she usually pushed an average of 5 watts/kg in races and in this case it came down to 4.2 watts/kg.

“I’m very sorry that it happened,” Reznikov is quoted by Cycling Weekly. “I can only hope that those who know me, they know that for me a race of 4.2 watt/kg is not a problem and I can ride much stronger. I believe that every person has the right to personal space and not everyone has the right to report in the media everything that he heard somewhere. They hurt me with my family and everyone who believes in me as an athlete”.

Besides Reznikov, cyclist Selma Trommer is also banned for six months (Jan. 18 – Jul. 17, 2021) because of a supplying a power file that deviated nine percent from her original recording.