Cookson investigators seized UCI computers right after election

Minutes after the UCI Congress declared him president, workers for international security and investigations firm Kroll swept into the UCI headquarters in Aigle and seized computers and other property from the offices there.

According to the Financial Times report and Cyclingnews' own sources, computers, back-up tapes and other IT equipment were taken as soon as the election results were relayed.

"They had to secure the computers," Mr Cookson told FT. "They took all the back-up tapes and all the IT stuff. They were available to make sure that nothing was destroyed that shouldn't be destroyed."

Kroll specialises in fraud, financial, bribery and other investigations with an expertise in computer forensics.

Cookson, however, did not believe that important evidence had been shredded: "I don't like to think there was anything that serious, but we had to take the precaution," he said.

Cookson was elected on a platform of moving the UCI from a closed to a transparent management system, and to root out corruption and conflicts of interest. He has pledged to create an independent anti-doping agency for the sport, and is in favor of an independent review panel ("truth and reconciliation") to give former dopers and their enablers a chance to come clean.

The article gave no indication of what is being investigated, but a dossier of evidence was, prior to the election, put into the hands of the US Anti-Doping Agency which alleged that former president Pat McQuaid and his predecessor Hein Verbruggen had engaged in corrupt activities such as bribing team managers and covering up doping positives.

Cookson said earlier this month he has been in high-level talks with WADA to investigate these and other charges.

Since taking office, Cookson has already replaced much of the UCI's top brass, including appointing three new vice-presidents: Australian Tracey Gaudry, Egypt's Mohamed Wagih Azzam and Frenchman David Lappartient. Even the UCI's legal counsel, Philippe Verbiest and director general Christophe Hubschmid have gone.

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