The UCI has issued a statement regarding an investigation by the BBC that suggests the keirin event was included in the Olympics because of series of donations by the Japanese Keirin Association.

The BBC said documents given to it suggests that £1.5m was paid to the UCI in the late nineties and questioned if the money had helped the keirin become an Olympic sport in 1996.

In the statement, the UCI admitted that there had been an agreement with a Japanese national cycling group, that helped fund track cycling and the new UCI headquarters and World Cycling Centre in Switzerland, but insisted there was no wrongdoing.

The UCI also said all its accounts had been reviewed by an independent auditor and deemed proper.

?UCI looked into this matter when questions were first raised by the BBC in early June. A thorough examination of our records and interviews with those involved has turned up no evidence that this was anything other than a straightforward, completely proper arrangement to promote track cycling,? the statement said.

?As UCI exists to promote cycling, it is perfectly logical that UCI would cooperate with Japanese national cycling groups to encourage international interest in track cycling. The agreement did not include any provision regarding keirin?s acceptance as an Olympic sport or even a commitment by UCI to seek its inclusion in the Olympic programme. To conclude otherwise would be incorrect. In fact, the agreement was signed six months after keirin was entered in the programme, along with three other track cycling events ? the men?s Olympic sprint and Madison, and the women?s 500-meter time trial.?

?The agreement produced clear benefits for all track cycling disciplines as evidenced by the superb progression of track cycling over the past 10 years. It allowed UCI to hire a full-time track cycling coordinator, support track cycling events around the world and contributed to the establishment of a world cycling center, including a velodrome in Switzerland. Through UCI?s efforts, track cycling was rejuvenated in the mid-1990s.?

?In addition, all expenses related to the agreement were reviewed by an independent auditor and deemed proper.?

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