How to combat cheating

I’ve been zwifting consistently for the past 6 months again: zwiftpower 35015 and have been getting a serious “cheating” burnout. There are a couple of things that seem to happen intentionally and some unintentionally:

  1. Weight doping
  2. Zpower riders ruining races
  3. Trainers with terrible calibration

One thing that most people that actively cheat have in common is that they don’t have a real profile picture on Zwift, Strava, Zwiftpower. They also have private profiles on one or more of those platforms.

There are a couple of things that indicate you can trust someone:

  1. Real names and profile picture. Dating sites have figured out how to do this pretty well.
  2. Vouched for by other trusted racers in their region
  3. Outdoor power data
  4. Race license numbers
  5. Double power recordings
  6. Weigh in data
  7. DQs are negative

Each of those add to a trustworthy score (like a credit score). You let race organizers set the min trustworthy score for their race, which can be different per category, and you integrate zwiftpower into Zwift so that you can see if someone is trustworthy but also you don’t release the results immediately until the results have been certified. Cheaters don’t go check the real results on zwiftpower.

For people that meet the bar, they can ride on Zwift or find races where reputation doesn’t matter.

Ultimately it’s up to Zwift to decide whether they want to fight people cheating and cater to honest customers that want to invest into a fair racing platform. That investment for riders could be in the form of power meters, etc. So yeah maybe racing indoors is more expensive than some people want but it might be what’s needed to keep honest customers engaged.

I like the idea. I have suggested a similar feature here Rider license. I don’t have high hopes for this getting implemented anytime soon. A point-based racing system as discussed here Stop race category cheats - opinions? will go a long way towards creating a fairer racing environment and should be prioritized over this.
I have heard an interview with @Eric Min on Zwiftcast, where he said he was afraid of putting restrictions on racing for paying customers. I think that is a mistake.

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Only problem with this is the duel power meters… might exclude a lot of people. I’d agree with everything else.

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There could be levels of “trustworthy score” (licenses) required for different races. A bio passport, like eBioPassport could be required for the high-profile races.

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Until people are not racing in the correct category all these suggestions is useless.

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I hope someone from Zwift reads these suggestions and can take ideas into consideration when planning ahead. It would be too bad if all the good thinking by users on this forum is useless.

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Yes! Cheating sucks. It really sucks for those who want to ride competetive against real world people with real world data.
As for your suggestions:

  1. Real names and profile picture. Dating sites have figured out how to do this pretty well.
    I go by my alias for a few years now in the online world and I don’t want my real name for various reasons to appear :slight_smile:

  2. Vouched for by other trusted racers in their region
    I don’t have any cycling contacts in the real world. When outside I’m riding strictly by myself bc others…well…I don’t play well with others :slight_smile:

  3. Outdoor power data
    Nice point!

  4. Race license numbers
    Nice point

  5. Double power recordings
    I got the kickr 5 and Asioma one sided…is this double power recording enough?

  6. Weigh in data
    Never! Not for online purposes with companys where I don’t know my health-data will go to or be sold to.

  7. DQs are negative
    Nice point!

But what about those riders who simply don’t know better? I startet 3 years ago with a Kickr Snap and thought I was real good at riding. Sure. There was something about accuracy but I didn’t care that much bc I wanted to loose weight, have some fun and ride my bike. I bet a lot of the Zwift Newbies don’t cheat on purpose. I bet, just 30 % are riding knowingly in the wrong cat.
And a smart trainer and/or powermeter doesn’t come for free and so a lot of riders would be excluded by your suggestions (hence they may quit Zwift → no money for Zwift → no new bugs (features xD) and routes for us)

I really like the anti sandbagging feature and the 5 votes and the rider gets DQed-system. Or the Haute Route system where you would automaticly get DQed when riding in another cat than the laste x? races/events before.

Please ignore grammar, spelling, wording and interpunctuation failures :slight_smile: :smiley:

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  1. This will do nothing to stop cheating.
  2. What if I don’t race outdoors?
  3. What if I don’t have a power meter? What if I don’t ride outside at all? And who will be judging my z2 ride outside and say I’m not capable of 3w/kg indoors?
  4. WTF? That excludes many racers and almost all riders on Zwift. You think ZHQ will commit corporate suicide?
  5. Easy to fake, double cheating
  6. What data? You expect organisers like me to monitor thousands of riders a week? I’d have to charge £20 per entry. End of racing.
  7. Negative how? Also, DQs are at the discretion of each organiser. I don’t DQ all zPower riders; some DQ if they podium; others DQ all of them.
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But its just a game

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That is the problem. Different users have different perspectives on what Zwift is to them. With no rule enforcement, you can’t really blame “cheaters” for breaking loose rules written in the description of the event. If they think about Zwift as just another game, they will use every trick in the book to win if no one is preventing them.

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Yup and they everyone is entitled to all the same services. Including people who dont know cycling/Zwift nuances.

EDIT: blatant cheaters (refer the many other threads on auto-cat etc) do need dealing with, but we need to make it easy to administer and not scare people away with over-burdening processes “just to have a race”.

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Zwift would disagree with you .

https://www.zwift.com/p/zwift-cycling-esports-rules

Yes its a game … but its not JUST a game .

For a lot of people it for sure will always be only the former . For others they want more and more governance up to and including the hardened rules described here .

Its getting the balance right . In the current ZRL premier league races that governance is on paper anyway quite strict . Probably too strict for community racing and certainly for the majority of events.
Some basic entry gates are seriously missing however to prevent entry rather than the current DQ
after the event approach.

I actually don’t like the title of this “Feature Request” however .

Users are not cheating if rules are not set . They are merely using the equivalent of a TUE.

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Oh yeah, those events that have one person crossing the finish line first but they dont turn out to be the winners!

Yep agree if balance is right. If I actually got good enough to compete in big boys races, I’d be happy and motivated to do a bit more as I am sure most people would.

Never a truer word spoken.

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I think all that stuff should be optional, which it is. The people who even able to provide the kind of information you’re asking them for are almost all in A to begin with anyway. even your average cat 3. so that excludes approximately 90% of registered zwiftpower users right off the bat

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Subsciption choise

Race => All access with strict rules => 15€
Training => reduced access on race, no specific rules => 5€

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Lowering the amount? They don’t even have proper family subscriptions… If anything it would be race => 50€ :smiley:

Yes, everyone starting has to pay 50€ - and the winner takes it all! :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
Oops - did anybody talk about cheating? :thinking: :thinking: :thinking:

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That’s the point though, it would be harder to race in the wrong category. Now obviously if someone wants to keep winning in a super easy category and not cross any w/kg limits, that’s kinda sad for them but even with winning you could just force a mandatory upgrade after x amount of podiums/wins

Real names and a picture drives accountability. I think there are few people I that are happy to have their name and face associated with cheating…

As far as to which points are the right ones, those are definitely up for debate. The idea is that points are accumulated and add up to a minimum score that can be set by a race organizer. So if you don’t mind getting crushed by a zpower rider, there will be races for you. If you do mind, there hopefully will be races for you too :slight_smile:

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By using ebiopassport i’m not sure we can avoid “cheating”
But it will be a good initiative to start and share to all zwifters.
Will be good if Zwift team can share into our comunity this ebiopassport feature.
We are curently receiving more and more information by email. For prevention propose it will be good to add this @Oliver_Dowd_w initiative.
Ride ON

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