Brian Cookson’s successful bid for the UCI presidency cost £120,000, says British Cycling – which adds that its members had urged it to oppose the re-election of Pat McQuaid, who had been seeking a third term running the sport’s world governing body.
Money to support then British Cycling president Cookson’s campaign ahead of the election in Florence in late September in which he beat McQuaid 24-18 came from the national governing body’s international relations budget, reports Orange.co.uk.
Cookson’s trips around the world as he sought to canvass support among the 42 delegates who would be voting at the UCI Congress in Florence were undertaken by standard class to keep costs down.
According to a spokesman for British Cycling: "The cost was just under £120,000. The expenditure is within the limit which was set and came from British Cycling's international relations budget.
“It covered the costs of the entire campaign including travel, the production and launch of his manifesto and professional support. All Brian's travel was standard class and, in most cases, he travelled alone.”
Cookson emerged as the sole candidate to mount a challenge to McQuaid’s leadership of the UCI, which had been implicated in helping cover up doping in the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s Reasoned Decision in the Lance Armstrong scandal.
"The impetus behind the campaign came from a groundswell of demand for change from our membership,” the spokesman continued.
“Following the publication of USADA's reasoned decision, we were inundated with correspondence from ordinary members insisting that we had to oppose the re-election of Pat McQuaid.
"That gave us a clear choice as a membership organisation, especially when it became obvious that there would not be an alternative candidate unless Brian put his name forward.
"Brian's candidacy for the presidency of the UCI was fully supported by the British Cycling board and as an organisation we have developed a culture of committing completely to goals once they have been agreed."
According to British Cycling’s latest annual report, in the year to 31 March 2013 it had funds and reserves of £1.75 million. The organisation had income of £23.762 million during the financial year, recording a deficit of £349,026 after tax.