The International Cycling Union (UCI)’s Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC) report into historical allegations of drug-taking in the sport ended up costing 25 per cent less than budgeted.
However, its CHF2.25 million (£1.5 million/$2.26 million/€2 million) price tag still resulted in the governing body reporting an operating loss for its 2014 financial year.
These details are revealed in chief financial officer Jeremy Conrad-Pickles’ commentary on the body’s financial statements contained in its 2014 annual report.
When published in March, the 227-page CIRC report was a big story that prompted UCI to announce a number of new anti-doping measures, although it has since been overshadowed by the crises that have overtaken the sports of football and athletics.
The 2014 operating loss for UCI worked out at CHF949,000 (£642,000/$956,000/€880,000) on revenues very similar to 2013 at CHF33.4 million (£22.6 million/$33.6 million/€30.9 million).
Broadcasting rights contributed just over CHF6 million (£4 million/$6 million/€5.5 million), with sponsorship and other commercial rights generating more than CHF5 million (£3.3 million/$5 million/€4.6 million).
Year-end reserves stood at just over CHF19 million ((£13 million/$19.1 million/€17.6 million), a comfortable level.
Of the revenue derived from competitions, road racing was responsible for more than half.
The discipline generates a highly attractive gross margin as well, amounting in 2014 to 74 per cent, or CHF8.42 million (£5.6 million/$8.4 million/€7.8 million) on revenue of CHF11.4 million (£7.7 million/$11.4 million/€10.5 million).
Notes to UCI’s accounts showed that anti-doping fines collected surged to CHF900,000 (£609,000/$907,000/€834,000) in 2014, against just CHF280,000 (£189,000/$282,000/€260,000) the previous year.
They also appeared to confirm that President Brian Cookson, who was elected in Florence in September 2013, is indeed being paid significantly less than his predecessor Pat McQuaid.
The report put the President’s remuneration in 2014 at CHF344,000 (£232,000/$346,000/€319,000), down from CHF496,000 (£335,000/$500,000/€460,000) the previous year.
Cookson revealed in October 2013 that McQuaid was paid an annual salary of CHF450,000 (£312,000/$500,000/€364,000) when he was UCI President, while also disclosing that he would be paid CHF340,000 (£230,000/$343,000/€315,000) for the role.
In addition to this remuneration, Cookson is said to be provided by the UCI with a “company vehicle”.
Conrad-Pickles warned that, as a body the majority of whose revenues are euro-denominated but whose cost-base is predominantly in Swiss francs, UCI anticipated a “negative impact” in 2015 from last January’s decision by the Swiss National Bank to release the Swiss franc/euro ceiling.
He added that UCI’s retained earnings were expected to cover any impact.