UCI boss Cookson comes under fire amid more wrangling

Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:50am EDT
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By Julien Pretot

BESANCON France (Reuters) - Less than a year after taking over from Pat McQuaid in farcical circumstances, International Cycling Union (UCI) president Brian Cookson is facing a barrage of criticism over his handling of the governing body.

Members of the sport's Ethics Commission have been replaced in controversial fashion, a high profile doping case was not disclosed to the media and last month, 2013 Tour de France champion Chris Froome was granted a therapeutical use exemption (TUE) in disputable manner.

Shortly after Cookson was elected UCI president in Florence during a spectacular congress - the Ethics Commission, the guardian of the ethical principles of the UCI’s Code of Ethics, was subject to a major overhaul.

Dutchman Peter Zevenbergen, who brought up claims against Russian Igor Makarov, one of the biggest supporters of Cookson in his election campaign, was asked to leave his job, he claims.

"It is quite simple: the new management committee did not accept my criticism," Zevenbergen told Reuters on Tuesday.

Article 14 of the Code of Ethics of the UCI state that the members of the Ethics Commission "shall be irremovable", unless they die or resign.

"I think those who were in the congress meeting last year would have been disappointed with the performance of the Ethics Committee as it was represented, Cookson told reporters on Tuesday.

"I think that it was quite clear that we had to change. We have got a new ethics commission now, all the members of the commission have been renewed. People we have are of the highest quality."   Continued...

Britain's Brian Cookson, President of International Cycling Union (UCI) poses in the Federation headquarters in Aigle, western Switzerland  November 19, 2013.  REUTERS/Denis Balibouse