Cycling: Brian Cookson looks for drugs probe as reform starts


Sports News Correspondent

Brian Cookson has made a brisk and busy start to his tenure in charge of cycling, with the new president of cycling’s world governing body, the UCI, opening talks with the World Anti-Doping Agency over the creation of an independent inquiry into doping within the sport

Two weeks after ousting Pat McQuaid in a bitter election that ended in near farce at the UCI congress in Florence, the 62-year-old has taken the first steps to deliver pre-election promises, as well as seeking to repair relations between the UCI and Wada and putting in place regime change within his organisation.

In the wake of last year’s stunning report by the US anti-doping agency into Lance Armstrong’s doping,  relations between Wada and Usada became increasingly strained.

But Cookson has already had discussions with leading Wada  figures and the Brit wants to create the inquiry to explore all doping cases and also look into whether the UCI itself was complicit in  any cover-ups.

“These early days are very  important for the UCI,” said Cookson. “We have embarked on the process of implementing our manifesto  commitments so we can re-establish our international federation’s  reputation and make it the best and most respected in the world. I  believe we have made a good start.

“We have started the work of  establishing a high-level dialogue with Wada to plan how we will  proceed with the independent  investigation into the UCI’s past. 

“We have also been making  contact with other key stakeholders in this area, including Usada, other national anti-doping organisations and the French Sports Ministry.”

The scenes in Florence as McQuaid sought to cling on to power were hugely damaging to a sport that does not have its troubles to seek after the Armstrong scandal.

It revealed a governing body in desperate need of reform and to that end Cookson, who swapped the presidency of British Cycling for this global role, has overseen the ousting of two key figures from the McQuaid regime.

Christophe Hubsch-mid, the UCI’s director general, and Phillippe Verbiest, the UCI’s legal counsel for nearly three decades, have both left.  Cookson also announced the UCI has dropped its legal action against journalist Paul Kimmage, a former cyclist and prominent anti-doping campaigner.

Cookson, speaking from his first engagement as president at the Tour of Beijing, was diplomatic about the moves, saying : “I would like to thank Christophe for his contribution to the UCI and wish him well for the future. I would also like to thank Philippe for his many years of hard work and commitment to the UCI.”

The president has also set up a new commission to improve  women’s elite racing, following on from appointing the Australian Tracey Gaudry as the first female vice-president of the UCI. Cookson also plans to meet Thomas Bach, the new president of the International Olympic Committee, soon.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine