BERGEN, Norway: Frenchman David Lappartient said his main job after being elected new president of the UCI yesterday was to maintain cycling’s credibility.
The 44-year-old beat incumbent Brian Cookson by a landslide 37 votes to eight at the world cycling governing body’s Congress in Bergen, Norway.
And having vowed in his election campaign to fight against corruption, doping and technological fraud, Lappartient said he would not be getting complacent now that he is president.
“We have to be stronger because I don’t want tomorrow to have new Armstrong affair – it would be a disaster for our sport,” said Lappartient.
“To lose credibility takes five minutes, to regain it takes 20 years – we have to be careful about it.”
He vowed to ensure independence and transparency in drug testing and “continue the fight against technological fraud”, although he said the UCI would “need to implement new systems”.
He also admitted that the “economic model of our sport is not very strong”, pointing to the team sponsors being local or national companies rather than global names.
Briton Cookson, 66, had beaten Ireland’s Pat McQuaid in a bitter and farcical election four years ago but in defeat became the first UCI president to fail to earn a second term.
He came to power in 2013 following years of doping scandals and the fall-out from Lance Armstrong’s admission of cheating throughout his career, which saw him stripped of his record seven Tour de France wins.