Corporate investigators secured UCI’s computers minutes after Cookson was elected
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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Corporate investigators secured UCI’s computers minutes after Cookson was elected

by VeloNation Press at 3:02 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
Cookson: “They had to secure the computers. They took all the back-up tapes and all the IT stuff”

Brian Cookson Pat McQuaidBrian Cookson’s pledge to investigate the actions of the UCI and others during Lance Armstrong’s career saw the Briton move to shut down any possible changing of records minutes after he was elected president of the governing body in September.

Cookson and McQuaid went head-to-head in an at-times bitter election. Things reached a crescendo on September 27th when the election was held at the UCI Congress in Florence, Italy, and there Cookson beat McQuaid by 24 votes to 18.

Corporate investigators from the highly-regarded Kroll company were waiting outside the UCI’s headquarters in Aigle and once they were informed of the outcome, they quickly acted.

“They had to secure the computers,” Cookson told the Financial Times. “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.”

In June it emerged that an investigation into McQuaid had been commissioned by management committee member Igor Makarov and that two investigators had compiled a dossier. This was brought up at a management committee meeting in June by another committee member, Mike Plant, but was ultimately not released.

However an alleged summary of the contents was leaked in September and included claims of unethical behaviour by McQuaid, former president Hein Verbruggen and the UCI, relating to Lance Armstrong, Alberto Contador, unnamed teams, the Vrijman report and other matters. Claims of bribery were also included.

Makarov and Plant refused demands to hand over the dossier to the UCI’s ethics commission, with both questioning its independence.

Cookson has vowed to carry out a thorough audit of the UCI’s actions during Armstrong’s career, and said on the day of the election that he hoped that McQuaid would speak the truth.

“I would urge Pat, as anyone else, to cooperate fully in any investigation that is put underway,” he stated in a press conference, which can be seen here.

Asked by the Financial Times if he believed there was anything that was likely to have been destroyed before Kroll investigators moved in, Cookson said that he hoped this wasn’t the case.

“I don’t like to think there was anything that serious, but we had to take the precaution,” he stated.

Earlier this month he confirmed that the process of working towards that audit was underway. “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,” he said.

“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.”

Time will tell what will come out of the investigation, but the news of Kroll’s involvement will reassure that the Briton is serious about looking into the UCI’s past.


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