An agreement has been reached between the UCI and the World Anti-Doping Agency over the broad principles under which an independent inquiry into doping in cycling will take place.

Brian Cookson has made the investigation, which will attempt to draw a line under the EPO-fuelled era of the sport - a priority since being appointed president of cycling's world governing body in late September.

Details of the inquiry are still to be announced, but Cookson has already spoken of his desire to establish whether his predecessors at the UCI were complicit in covering up the doping practices of some riders, such as Lance Armstrong. Both Pat McQuaid, UCI president from 2005 to 2013, and Hein Verbruggen, the Irishman's predecessor, deny all wrongdoing.

"WADA president John Fahey and UCI president Brian Cookson had a private meeting today on the occasion of the World Conference on Doping in Sport in Johannesburg," a joint statement, released late on Wednesday night, read.

"They agreed the broad terms under which the UCI will conduct a Commission of Inquiry into the historical doping problems in cycling.

"They further agreed that their respective colleagues would co-operate to finalise the detailed terms and conditions of the inquiry to ensure that the procedures and ultimate outcomes would be in line with the fundamental rules and principles of the World Anti-Doping Code.

"Both presidents pledged that their organisation would work harmoniously to help the sport of cycling move forward in the vanguard of clean sports."