- Title: I'm the best choice for UCI President, insists Cookson
- Date: 28th July 2017
- Summary: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (JULY 28, 2017) (REUTERS) SOUNDBITE (English) CURRENT UCI PRESIDENT BRIAN COOKSON SAYING: "Yes I believe that we have genuinely made massive efforts in making our anti-doping processes and procedures fully and properly independent, so there is no question of conflicts of interest there is no possibility of anything being swept under the carpet. We have a genuinely independent cycling anti-doping foundation now that is well trusted and well respected by World Anti-Doping Agency and by national anti-doping agencies around the world. And they are, I believe, they are doing an excellent job to the extent that IOC president Thomas Bach has asked me if we could help advise the IOC on the independent testing authority they are talking about. We are very, very happy to do that because we believe, not that we are complacent about it, but we believe we have been through a lot of the problems other sports are going to have to face sooner or later and I believe we have now got systems that are very good. Not only fit for purpose but best in class." WHITE FLASH SOUNDBITE (English) CURRENT UCI PRESIDENT BRIAN COOKSON SAYING ON WHETHER THERE ARE TOO MANY CRASHES IN CYCLING: "I don't think it will be compromised. I think there will always be crashes in cycling. It is a sport that takes place in a normal natural environment if you can call a tarmac road a natural environment. But it is out there in the countryside and it requires skills in going uphill as well as downhill. And from time to time there will be crashes. And I think it was unfortunate this year because I think it took out some good riders and damaged some riders who might otherwise have made Team Sky's and Froome's job more difficult than it was in the end." COOKSON BEING INTERVIEWED COOKSON BEING INTERVIEWED
- Embargoed: 11th August 2017 21:00
- Keywords: UCI election Brian Cookson Lance Armstrong Pat McQuaid cycling
- Location: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK
- City: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Cycling,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA0056RMT2KF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Brian Cookson, facing an election challenge for his presidency of cycling's governing body the UCI, launched a strong defence of his stewardship on Friday and said he expects to win another four-year period in office.
He believes he has greatly improved the "disastrous and controversy-ridden" organisation he took over in 2013 and will continue to do so, especially in the areas of anti-doping, women's cycling and inspiring participation in the sport.
The 66-year-old Briton beat Irishman Pat McQuaid in the last election and was hoping to be unopposed this time.
He is being challenged, however, by UCI vice-president and European Cycling Union president David Lappartient from France, who Cookson described as having been "the leader of the opposition for some time".
The Frenchman announced his candidacy last month, 24 hours before the deadline.
He pointed to a new ethics code, strengthening the UCI's financial position and growing cycling worldwide, with a record number of nations at the Rio Olympic Games and the development of the UCI Women's World Tour, with equal prize money.
His manifesto includes continuing the global development of cycling, "keeping an eye on the ball with anti-doping" and "using the elite level of cycling to inspire people to get on a bike for health benefits."
Criticised publicly by his predecessor McQuaid, who called him "a fraud", and by the disgraced former world champion and seven-times Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, Cookson said: "I don't want their support. (Their criticism) is the best possible endorsement of me."
The vote among 45 delegates will take place on Sept. 21 during the UCI road world championships in Norway.
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