It was announced today that Brian Cookson would immediately take up the post as president of the International Cycling Union after receiving the majority vote in Florence this morning.
He served as the President of British Cycling from 1997 until this year, stepping down from his post to join the UCI. He has been involved in the sport for many years, competing in road, track, MTB and cyclo-cross before becoming an official. He announced that he was running to become President of the UCI in June this year and has always taken a strict stance on drugs in the sport. He made a statement following the 2007 doping scandal during the Tour De France saying: “”At British Cycling, we have always taken a very strong anti-doping stance throughout all our structures, from the elite Podium level, right the way through to our coaching and development programmes for youngsters.”
He has had a huge influence on the sport, overseeing the transformation of British Cycling and saving it from the brink of bankruptcy when he first became president. Talking earlier today about his win in the election he said:
“I am sorry to leave an organisation which I have seen make extraordinary progress over the last 16 years, but I am absolutely thrilled to be given the opportunity to bring about the changes that cycling needs worldwide. I know that I am moving on from British Cycling with the organisation in fantastic shape, and I am already looking forward to the challenges ahead as President of the UCI.”
Brian aims to go into the post to rectify past issues and help to restore the reputation of the UCI:
My first priorities as President will be to make anti-doping procedures in cycling fully independent, sit together with key stakeholders in the sport and work with WADA to ensure a swift investigation into cycling’s doping culture. It is by doing these things that we will build a firm platform to restore the reputation of our International Federation with sponsors, broadcasters, funding partners, host cities and the International Olympic Committee. Ultimately this is how we grow our sport worldwide and get more riders and fans drawn into cycling.
Speaking of Brian Cookson’s time at British Cycling, Bob Howden, Vice Chair of British Cycling, said:
“I have had the pleasure and the privilege of working alongside Brian for 14 years, and have seen first-hand how his collegiate and honest approach to leadership has helped transform not only British Cycling, but also the sport of cycling in this country.I have no doubt that Brian is exactly the kind of leader that our sport needs at the highest level, and that he will be able to make a significant contribution to the sport at a global level as UCI President.”