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UCI boss Brian Cookson wasn't invited to give views to British Cycling independent review

He chaired organisation for 17 years before taking top job at world cycling's governing body in 2013...

The panel that conducted the independent review into British Cycling did not invite UCI president Brian Cookson to give evidence, despite him holding a similar position at the national governing body for 17 years, it has emerged.

Instead Cookson himself approached the panel in January to ask for an interview following criticism of the organisation’s handling of claims of bullying and discrimination in a draft version of its report supplied to British Cycling and UK Sport at the end of last year, reports the Guardian.

The 65-year-old, who became president of British Cycling in 1996, left the organisation in 2013 after his election to the top job at the UCI.

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A freedom of information request submitted by the Press Association has shown that following the delivery of the draft reports, there was “extensive correspondence” between the boards of UK Sport and British Cycling as well as the independent review panel’s chair, Annamarie Phelps.

She revealed in an email dated 13 January to UK Sport that she “had done one more interview,” believed to mean with Cookson, and had made “a minor amendment to the report.”

Phelps, who is chairwoman of British Rowing, also said she had added to the number of submissions to the report, the “final final version” of which she said had been sent to UK Sport.

Those additional submissions are believed to have arrived after the original deadline of 30 November and are thought to be from people more sympathetic to British Cycling than those providing evidence earlier, after concerns over the balance of the report had been raised by the governing body’s board.

The report is expected to be published next month following protracted discussions between the independent review panel, UK Sport and British Cycling about how much information should be made public and what should be redacted.

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Cookson is currently preparing to stand for a second four-year term at the helm of the UCI, but has been drawn into the controversies surrounding both British Cycling and Team Sky.

Besides the independent review of British Cycling ordered by UK Sport, officials from the organisation have also been quizzed by a House of Commons select committee, as has Sir Dave Brailsford and former staff from Team Sky.

The governing body and UCI WorldTour team are also under investigation from UK Anti-Doping in relation to the mystery package containing medicine for Sir Bradley Wiggins delivered to former Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman at the 2011 Criterium du Dauphiné.

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“The inquiries are important to help our sport continue to learn from the past and move forward,” said Cookson.

“However, as these inquiries are still ongoing, it would not be appropriate to comment on them at this time.”

Cycling Canada president John Tolkamp will act as Cookson’s strategic advisor and campaign manager in the months running up to September’s election.

Regarding the UKAD investigation, he told Canadian Cycling Magazine: “We will wait to see what comes of it.

“Brian feels and I do as well that under his leadership the sport was growing in the best possible way and had a good environment.

“If things come to light that are not what Brian has indicated and not indicative of the individual, his principles and values, then I am ready to reassess my support.”

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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