By Nick Butler

Brian Cookson told Thomas Bach measures the UCI are doing to combat any lingering doping culture in the sport ©AFP/Getty ImagesInternational Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has welcomed the "impressive measures" being taken by the new International Cycling Union (UCI) President Brian Cookson to combat any lingering doping problems in the sport.

Adopting a "zero tolerance" approach to doping was a key pledge in Cookson's election manifesto as he successfully ousted Pat McQuaid as UCI President last September.

Since then an independent audit has been convened to look into the approach of the governing body, which recommended "urgent" improvements to the UCI anti-doping practices.

In recent months there has still been criticism, however, particularly over the decision not to ban Australian cyclist Michael Rogers for testing positive for banned substance clenbuterol, after he successfully attributed it to the consumption of contaminated meat.

Last month, reigning Tour de France champion Chris Froome also criticised the UCI for not subjecting either himself or other top cyclists to any out-of-competition drug tests while at a training camp in Tenerife ahead of the defence of his title. 

But, speaking following a meeting with Cookson, UCI director-general Martin Gibbs and IOC counterpart Christophe De Kepper in Lausanne yesterday, Bach spoke positively of the progress being made.

Since being elected President in the same month as Cookson last year, Bach has also spoken strongly about tackling doping ©Getty ImagesSince being elected President in the same month as Cookson last year, Bach has also spoken strongly about tackling doping ©Getty Images

"The UCI informed me of all the measures they are taking to protect their sport from manipulation of any kind, in particular doping," Bach said.

"And these efforts are indeed impressive.

"It was great to see all the stakeholders equally committed to the fight for clean athletes.

"We also discussed the UCI's contributions to Olympic Agenda 2020, which will be looked at in even greater detail by Working Groups beginning next week, and we are thankful for their input."

The meeting took place ahead of a two-day UCI Management Committee meeting being held at the IOC headquarters in the Swiss city this week, and Cookson also thanked Bach for a "positive discussion covering a range of issues".

"It was very useful to talk with him on the Olympic Agenda 2020 review and, in particular, discuss how cycling can play its role in those plans," the Briton explained.

"Among other things we believe cycling can be a big part of the IOC's sustainability and legacy work by helping bid cities transform themselves into places where cycling is a preferred way of getting around, making those cities better places to exercise, live and work."

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