Cycling union’s presidency campaign moves up a gear

British challenger wants to restore credibility to international body

The head of cycling faces scrutiny over his handling of the Lance Armstrong affair and other doping controversies after Britain’s most senior official of the sport threw his hat in the ring for presidency of the international governing body.

Brian Cookson, president of British Cycling, has won the endorsement of his federation and will on Tuesday announce he is to challenge Pat McQuaid, who is seeking a third term as president of the International Cycling Union, in an election in September.

Mr Cookson is expected to run on a campaign of restoring the credibility of the world cycling body, which has been damaged by the Armstrong scandal.

His decision to confront Mr McQuaid sets the stage for a summer of infighting in a sport that has endured a year of uncomfortable questions about drug taking.

After Armstrong’s public confession in January the cycling union stripped him of his seven Tour de France titles and banned him from the sport for life.

Cycling suffered a fresh blow on Monday when a second rider in the Giro d’Italia, Mauro Santambrogio, failed a dope test for EPO, a hormone that boosts blood.

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