New UCI president Brian Cookson has revealed he has contacted the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to begin discussions about an independent investigation into the UCI's past and confirmed he has formally ended the legal action against Irish journalist Paul Kimmage.
Cookson promised to restore trust in the UCI during his election campaign after the huge damage caused by a string of doping cases, especially concerning Lance Armstrong under the presidency of Hein Verbruggen and Pat McQuaid.
“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."
“These early days of my presidency are very important to the UCI. And I believe we have made a good start,” Cookson said in China where he attended the opening stage of the Tour of Beijing. The former president of British Cycling has moved quickly to implement several promises from his UCI presidency manifesto.
“We have embarked on the process of implementing our manifesto commitments so that we can re-establish our international federation's reputation and make it the best and most respected in the world,” said Cookson.
“We have also made contact with other key stakeholders including USADA, the French sports ministry and several national anti-doping organizations.”
Cookson called Paul Kimmage before traveling to the Tour of Beijing to tell him of the decision to end the legal action. He has also confirmed that the age limit for women’s elite teams will be revoked.
“We will form a new Commission for women’s cycling to help facilitate the growth of women’s elite racing,” Cookson stated.
Staff changes and future meetings
Cookson also confirmed that the UCI Director General Christophe Hubschmid has left and a replacement for legal counsel Philippe Verbiest has been found. However it seems Hein Verbruggen will remain honoury president of the UCI.
"I can confirm that former Director General Christophe Hubschmid has left the UCI and that Antonio Rigozzi of Levy Kaufmann-Kohler is now assisting us as external legal counsel," he said.
“Over the coming weeks I am looking forward to meeting with my friends and colleagues in the Olympic movement, including the new IOC President, Thomas Bach, and Rio 2016 President, Carlos Nuzman."
“An extraordinary Management Committee meeting will take place on 29 October where we shall assess our progress in implementing my Manifesto pledges and plan for the important period ahead of us. This meeting will be held at the UCI’s headquarters in order that the staff can meet the new Management Committee."
"It’s been a busy time but very constructive and I am grateful to all the support I have received from the cycling family in setting out on this new path."