British Cycling's Cookson aims to oust McQuaid as UCI president - BikeBiz

British Cycling's Cookson aims to oust McQuaid as UCI president

British Cycling has launched a social media campaign to get Brian Cookson elected as president of the troubled UCI
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Brian Cookson, president of British Cycling, has announced he is to challenge Pat McQuaid to become president of the Union Cycliste Internationale.

The campaign has launched with a website and a Twitter account; a manifesto will be released soon.

Cookson said: "We must restore cycling’s credibility" and get beyond "damaging historical controversies." Such controversies have dogged the current UCI president, Pat McQuaid.

Elections for UCI president take place at the organisation's annual congress in Florence, in September. 

Cookson said:

"I have the full support and nomination of my home federation, British Cycling, and I respectfully ask for the support of the national cycling federations of the world and the whole international cycling family.

"I am not doing this lightly as I know how much needs to be done. When I became the President of British Cycling in 1996, the Federation was deeply troubled and close to bankruptcy. Since that time cycling in my country has been transformed beyond recognition. Many wonderful people have helped this process, motivated by a passion to do the best for cycling, and I have been proud to lead them.

"This transformation has been achieved, above all, by creating a well run, stable federation governed on the principles of honesty, transparency and clear divisions of responsibility. These principles are even more important for an international federation.

"Many good things have happened in our sport around the world in recent years, and I am proud that British cyclists and British events such as London 2012 have played their part in showing what a superb sport we have in cycling, in all its diversity.

"But the passion I and many others have for cycling cannot hide the fact that our international body, the UCI, remains hugely distracted, continuing to flounder in waves of damaging historical controversies. For far too many people our sport is associated with doping, with decisions that are made behind closed doors and with ceaseless conflicts with important members of the cycling family and other key stakeholders. This situation is deeply damaging for our sport, and it has severely compromised the UCI’s ability to develop and communicate some of the good work that is happening across the world.

"The stakeholder consultation exercise held this year by the UCI has clearly demonstrated that there are many excellent aspects to the UCI, with much good work underway, but all of this has been severely compromised by the widespread absence of confidence in the integrity of the organisation.

"I passionately believe that the UCI needs to embrace a new way of doing things, and address, head on, some of the critical challenges facing our sport.

"We must restore cycling’s credibility. The first priority for the new UCI president must be to change the way that anti doping is managed so that people can have confidence in the sport. We must also urgently carry out a fully independent investigation into the allegations of corruption in this area which have so damaged the UCI’s reputation.

"Cycling is not the only sport with problems but if we don’t have a sport that parents can send their children to with absolute confidence then we are failing. If elected I will devote myself to rebuilding relations with WADA and establishing with them a completely independent body to deal with anti-doping in cycling so that no-one can doubt that it is being tackled without fear or favour. I will also seek their full co-operation in the independent investigation into the UCI’s past.

"I want to see a UCI whose culture and way of doing things is defined by openness, transparency, and a commitment to more collegiate decision making. We need to work for the good of cycling globally, and not protect vested interests, wherever they may lie. The best way we can achieve this is to be much more open on how we operate and make decisions. In essence, my manifesto will outline how I would build trust in the UCI, and what our vision should be, for the future."

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