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New UCI chief Cookson reveals salary, strategy

AIGLE, Switzerland (AP) — The International Cycling Union has ordered an audit of its own anti-doping operations and discussed how to investigate the governing body's links to Lance Armstrong.

The modernizing moves were announced Tuesday after newly elected president Brian Cookson chaired his first management committee, and began fulfilling campaign pledges which included revealing his 340,000 Swiss francs ($379,000) salary.

Cookson said in a statement the meeting was "an important moment for the UCI as we put in place a number of measures to restore trust." After long-standing claims that the UCI was complicit in protecting Armstrong and his Tour de France-winning teams from scrutiny, Cookson has pledged to create an independent anti-doping unit in 2014.

"A full audit of the systems and controls currently employed by the UCI's anti-doping operations to ensure that they are working efficiently" was agreed Tuesday by Cookson's management team, the UCI said.

Armstrong is still a factor for the new UCI leadership, which will investigate the old regime defeated in an election last month. It is unclear if Armstrong will contribute to the UCI process after consistently resisting approaches from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency which detailed his extensive doping in a report published last October.

"Allegations of past wrongdoing at the UCI and the extent and roots of doping in cycling" will be studied by an independent commission, and its working principles were discussed Tuesday. The UCI said it is still talking with the World Anti-Doping Agency about the commission's mandate and membership.

Cookson's salary was reviewed by UCI vice presidents and is almost 25 percent less than the previously undisclosed 450,000 Swiss francs ($501,500) collected by his predecessor Pat McQuaid, whom he beat in an acrimonious election.

Cookson's campaign manager, Martin Gibbs, has also been appointed as its new director general. Gibbs was previously the legal director of British Cycling under Cookson's presidency. Other measures agreed included a review of UCI's international development work to be presented at the next management meeting in January, and appointments to a new women's cycling commission.

"There is a huge amount of work to do in the coming months and beyond, but I am excited by the passion and support my colleagues have shown for implementing a real program of change for the good of cycling," Cookson said.

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