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UCI boss: Switch track cycling to Winter Olympics

ESPN staff
March 25, 2014
Great Britain have established themselves as a track cycling powerhouse over the past decade © Getty Images

International Cycling Union president Brian Cookson has urged the International Olympic Committee to consider switching a number of indoor events - including track cycling - to the Winter Olympic programme.

Cookson, the former head of British Cycling, believes the radical change would ease the congestion of events at the Summer Games and increase the event quotas for many sports.

'Sports not tackling doping must wake up'

Cookson replaced Pat McQuaid as UCI president in the wake of Lance Armstrong's doping confession © Getty Images
  • Brian Cookson warned that every sporting federation needs to assume that some of their athletes are doping.

    "There are two categories of sport," he said, "those that have a doping problem and are trying to do something about it, and cycling I would suggest is one of the leaders there.

    "The second category is those that have a doping problem and are in denial about it, because there are forms of doping that affect all forms of sport.

    "If you are running your sport and think that you don't have a doping problem then I think you need a wake-up call, because there will be a form of doping that you need to do something about."

"Let's think about the Winter Olympics, why does it have to be snow and ice?" said Cookson, who has campaigned for cyclo-cross to be added to the Winter Olympics in the past.

"The reality these days is that the base for the winter Olympics the last few times has been two or three hours drive away from the mountains.

"If you have a problem with summer Olympics where the whole thing is perceived as over-heated with too many facilities, too many sports, too many competitors and so on, why not look at moving some of the other sports indoors that traditionally take place in the northern hemisphere winter?

"Why not look at combat sports like judo, or other indoor sports like badminton? You could even say what about putting track cycling in the Winter Olympics?"

Thomas Bach, president of the IOC, has announced a review of the entire Olympic programme with the results being presented in Monaco at the end of 2014.

"If we moved track cycling to the Winter Olympics and that allowed us to have more track cycling events and more medals, that could be a pretty good outcome," Cookson added.

Britain claimed medals in nine of the 10 track cycling events at the London Olympics 2012.

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