October 11 - New International Cycling Union (UCI) President Brian Cookson has sacked the world governing body's director general Christophe Hubschmid as he continues overhauling the organisation.
Hubschmid, 49, had been appointed in July 2011 by former President Pat McQuaid and had been closely involved in trying to help the Irishman retain his position in last month's election in Florence.
But once McQuaid lost to Cookson the fate of the Swiss was effectively sealed.
He follows the UCI's long-time legal consul Philippe Verbiest in having his services terminated.
Verbiest, who was not a full-time employee of the UCI, was told last week that he would no longer be working for them.
"The day after the [Road] World Championships [in Florence], one of my vice-presidents, Tracey Gaudry, and I travelled directly to Aigle to meet with the UCI staff and it was a pleasure to meet the many excellent and talented people at the UCI," said Cookson, who is currently in China attending the Tour of Beijing.
"However, some changes are needed and I can confirm that former director general Christophe Hubschmid has left the UCI and that Antonio Rigozzi of Levy Kaufmann-Kohler is now assisting us as external legal counsel.
"I would like to thank Christophe for his contribution to the UCI and wish him well for the future.
"I would also like to thank our previous legal counsel Philippe Verbiest for his many years of hard work and commitment to the UCI."
Cookson also revealed that he has contacted Irish journalist Paul Kimmage to inform him that the UCI is dropping the legal action that was started against by McQuaid and his predecessor Hein Verbruggen over claims that he had defamed him.
Cookson had personally contacted Kimmage after the former Sunday Times journalist had revealed on Twitter that he was still receiving letters in relation to the case.
He had Tweeted two days ago: "For the record: I am still receiving letters from Reymond & Associes, the solicitors acting for the UCI, Verbruggen and McQuaid. I presume @BrianCooksonUCI that you're aware that tab is still running. And that you'll be handing that bill to Verbruggen and McQuaid?"
That spurred Cookson into ensuring that the action will not proceed.
"Earlier this week I called Paul Kimmage to tell him that the UCI has withdrawn from the legal action against him," he said.
Cookson has also begun the process of repairing the UCI's fractured relationship with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), which were badly damaged by the drugs scandals which have smeared the sport, particularly Lance Armstrong.
"We have started the work of establishing a high level dialogue with WADA to plan how we will proceed with the independent investigation into the UCI's past," said Cookson.
"We have also been making contact with other key stakeholders in this area, including USADA, other national anti-doping organisations and the French Sports Ministry.
"These early days are very important for the UCI.
"We have embarked on the process of implementing our manifesto commitments so that we can re-establish our International Federation's reputation and make it the best and most respected in the world.
"I believe that we have made a good start."
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