CYCLING supremo Brian Cookson has appointed three people – including a war crimes investigator – to sit on an independent commission to look into allegations of wrongdoing in the past.

The Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC) will be chaired by Switzerland’s former state prosecutor Dick Marty and will include Peter Nicholson, an Australian who has investigated war crimes for the United Nations.

Professor Ulrich Haas from Germany, a specialist in anti-doping rules who works for the Court of Arbitration for Sport, is the third person on the commission.

The investigation, led by East Lancashire’s Cookson, will centre on the UCI’s dealings with doping findings and allegations during the late 1990s and early 2000s, including its handling of claims against Lance Armstrong who has since admitted to doping.

Cookson, who lives in the Ribble Valley, said he wants the commission’s investigation to be completed this year.

He said: “This commission will investigate the problems cycling has faced in recent years, especially the allegations that the UCI has been involved in wrongdoing in the past – allegations which have done so much to hurt the credibility of the UCI and our sport.

“Their work will also be focused on understanding what went so wrong in our sport and they will make recommendations for change so that as far as possible those mistakes are not repeated.”

Cookson said the commission will be given complete access to the UCI’s files and electronic data that was seized by private investigators at his instigation within minutes of his election.

He added: “We have agreed a budget for the commission, which the UCI will cover in full, and we have also expressed our wish that its work be concluded this year.”