POSTED: October 13th 2013

New UCI President Cookman makes first statement in Beijing

UCI President Brian Cookson was elected two weeks ago / Cookson Images
UCI President Brian Cookson was elected two weeks ago / Cookson Images

CHAD WISE / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) Newly-elected Union Cycliste Internationale President Brian Cookson outlined his plans for the organisation Friday from an engagement in Beijing.

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

“In Florence, the cycling family clearly demonstrated its desire for change. Not only in voting me as president, but also in electing three excellent vice presidents, including the first woman to occupy the position, as well as a high-quality Management Committee. And we have quickly got down to work.”

Cookson was elected president two weeks ago and has been working at UCI headquarters in Aigle, Switzerland.

“We have appointed most of the new presidents of the UCI Commissions and I’m delighted to welcome them to their posts.

“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. And earlier this week I called Paul Kimmage to tell him that the UCI has withdrawn from the legal action against him.

“We have also confirmed the decision to revoke the age limit of 28 that existed for UCI Women’s Teams and to form a new Commission for women’s cycling to help facilitate the growth of women’s elite racing.

“On the issue of UCI staffing, the day after the World Championships, one of my vice presidents, Tracey Gaudry, and I travelled directly to Aigle to meet with the UCI staff and it was a pleasure to meet the many excellent and talented people at the UCI. However, some changes are needed and I can confirm that former Director General Christophe Hibshcmidt has left the UCI and that Antonia Rigozzi of Levy Kaufmann-Kohler is now assisting us as external legal counsel. I would like to thank Christophe for his contribution to the UCI and whish him well for the future. I would also like to thank our previous legal counsel Philippe Berbiest for his many years of hard work and commitment to the UCI.

“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. And last week in Switzerland I met with Andrew Ryan, executive director of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations.

“An extraordinary Management Committee meeting will take place on 29 Oct. 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.”

Keywords · UCI · Brian Cookson · Cycling · International Olympic Committee · IOC · Rio 2016 · Olympics · WADA ·

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