Brian Cookson’s frustration


  • Brian Cookson’s real intention in setting up the CIRC was “to investigate allegations that the UCI colluded to cover up past doping offences”.
  • Cookson was hugely frustrated when the CIRC could not find even a single cover-up.
  • He therefore needed to change his “cover-ups” mantra into one about “significant decisions that caused damage to the UCI”, all of which is based on a clearly biased report.




Brian Cookson’s election manifesto: an “investigation into alleged corruption”

Brian Cookson’s manifesto was published on 24 June 2013, three weeks after Cookson announced he was putting himself forward as a candidate for the UCI Presidency.

Below are excerpts from the Cookson Manifesto (with my emphasis added):

Page 2

“…It is also critical that we re-build relations with WADA and national bodies including the AFLD and USADA. It is absurd that a sport that has suffered so much from doping has been in open conflict with the very people it should be working in partnership with. I will seek their full co-operation in an independent investigation into allegations that the UCI colluded to cover up past doping offences.

Page 6

“• Independent investigation of allegations of UCI corruption”

“…In relation to a full Truth and Reconciliation process, while there are a number of practical legal issues that require consideration, if these can be overcome, I would welcome such a process. What I am absolutely committed to is ensuring that any allegations which implicate the UCI over historic doping cover-ups are fully and independently investigated. I will ensure that we have a quick and effective process to establish the facts. This process will include working with WADA to ensure that athletes and others who co-operate with that investigation are treated properly, in the same way that USADA managed its investigation into Lance Armstrong….”


The composition of the CIRC

The CIRC was composed of a former public prosecutor (attorney general), a former officer of the Australian army who specilializes in criminal investigations and a law professor who advises WADA on drafting anti-doping rules. This gives a clear indication of the”direction” of the investigation and the real mission of the CIRC.


Cookson’s raid

A team of forensic IT specialists were on stand-by outside the UCI’s offices on the morning of 27 September 2013, while the UCI Congress was still underway in Florence waiting for the result of the presidential elections.

As instructed by Martin Gibbs, Cookson’s assistant, this team of IT specialists entered the offices of the UCI to confiscate all computers and copy all data, including private data, as soon as the result of the election was known – even before the end of the Congress, so before Cookson was formally the UCI President.

This team opened all of the office doors, even those that were locked, searched all of the cupboards and even confiscated private computers and the private data of the people who worked in the offices. This can only be described as ‘police-state methods’, which have never before been seen in the world of sport.

The CIRC report makes no mention of this extraordinary incident and does not even question the violations of privacy rights.


My conclusions

  •  Brian Cookson’s real intention in setting up the CIRC was “to investigate allegations that the UCI colluded to cover up past doping offences”. It was, after all, written in his electoral manifesto.  He was convinced that there must be cover-ups. Who gave him this conviction, particularly as he was a UCI Board Member and so a front-row observer of how the UCI actually operated? I suppose WADA did. Brian Cookson had, as he told many people, close and frequent contacts with the current WADA President, Craig Reedie, who is known to be a close friend of Dick Pound.
  • Hence Cookson’s “police state” tactics  of confiscating computers the moment he was elected President.
  • Hence Brian Cookson’s obsession (dating back since 2012!) that I should relinquish my title of Honorary President.
  • Hence his huge frustration when the CIRC could not find even a single cover-up.
  • Hence the change in focus, from cover-ups to “character assassination” in the CIRC report and Cookson changing his accusations from “cover-ups” to “significant decisions that caused damage to the UCI”, all based on a clearly biased report.
  • Following Cookson’s lead, the CIRC has placed the blame for the conflicts between UCI and WADA entirely on the UCI. However, this has been done without examining how and why these conflicts arose.
  • Following Cookson’s lead, the CIRC also blames UCI wrongly for not having sought the support of WADA for the staging of the first Independent Commission.
  • And finally, once again taking the Cookson line, the CIRC states that WADA must be involved in any investigation into anti-doping which automatically results in WADA being shielded against scrutiny of its own wrongdoings.