FLORENCE, Italy (AP) — Brian Cookson has been elected president of the UCI, defeating incumbent Pat McQuaid after a contentious campaign to take over cycling's governing body in the wake of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.

The British Cycling president beat McQuaid 24-18 in a secret ballot on Friday.

There were questions over McQuaid's eligibility after his home country, Ireland, and Switzerland, where he lives, withdrew support, but he was ultimately allowed to run with nominations from Thailand and Morocco.

Cookson pledges to immediately create an independent anti-doping commission for cycling and says one of his first acts will be to call the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Cookson also wants to set up a "truth and reconciliation" commission to delve into cycling's doping past.