McQuaid Pledges To Continue Anti-Doping Fight

UCI president Pat McQuaid has pledged to continue the fight against doping if he is elected again as president of the International Cycling Union (UCI).

McQuaid said he has introduced the most sophisticated and effective anti-doping infrastructure in world sport to cycling and it is now possible to race and win clean. The UCI president is facing stiff competition from British Cycling Brian Cookson, who is a member of the UCI management committee, for the presidential post.

Cookson, the current president of the British Cycling, pledged to establish an independent body to manage anti-doping if he is elected president of the International Cycling Union (UCI). His candidacy is based on restoring credibility in the UCI after the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.

The 62-year-old Cookson remarked the reality is that the UCI is not trusted, our anti-doping is not seen to be independent and we don’t have the trust of the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) and the other key anti-doping agencies. He went on to remark that the anti-doping service within the UCI headquarters at the moment is just down the corridor of the president’s office so that can’t be right. He also added that he would quickly establish a completely independent anti-doping unit, in co-operation with WADA if elected president and it will be managed and governed outside of the UCI so people can have absolute confidence in our sport.

In his manifesto for running for the UCI presidency, McQuaid pledged to make the UCI’s Cycling Anti Doping Foundation more independent and help fund it by increasing the UCI World Tour teams’ contributions to anti-doping and modernize how cycling is presented as a global sport. He also pledged to  establish an independent audit of the UCI’s actions when Lance Armstrong was winning the Tour de France, from 1999 to 2005 and set up an independent UCI Women’s Commission with responsibility for developing all disciplines of women’s cycling. McQuaid added that his mission now is to preserve the changed culture within the peloton and team entourage and foster the global development of cycling.

McQuaid also remarked that the governing body of cycling now invests over USD 7.5million (£5m) every year to keep the sport clean and to catch and prosecute those riders who refuse to embrace the new culture of clean cycling. The UCI president also added that the misdeeds of a few should not be allowed to tarnish the reputation of cycling or today’s riders. He added that Lance Armstrong and issues related to him should not affect the September vote and added this election should be about cycling today and cycling tomorrow. Cycling officials worldwide were not as concerned with the Armstrong case, McQuaid suggested. The chief of cycling’s governing body also remarked they see it as a scandal that has happened in the past. He also revealed that they are more interested in how they see the UCI developing the sport and that is the basis he is standing on and there is work still to continue.

McQuaid is seeking a third four-year term in office at the UCI’s election congress on September 27.

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