McQuaid loses Swiss backing in UCI presidency battle
International Cycling Union (UCI) president Pat McQuaid received a blow Wednesday to his bid to win a third term in the role as the Swiss Cycling Federation withdrew their backing for his candidacy.
Irishman McQuaid had already seen his homeland remove their support for him but then thought he been granted a reprieve when the Swiss stepped in.
But now he has lost their backing as well, he is left needing to change the rules in order to stand for election.
“The Board of Directors of Swiss Cycling have reversed their decision from May 13, 2013 concerning the nomination of Pat McQuaid and decided yesterday (Tuesday) to withdraw the nomination of Pat McQuaid for reelection to the UCI presidency,” said the Swiss Federation in a statement.
“By consequence the arbitration requested by three members of Swiss Cycling has been cancelled as it is no longer of any use.”
Three members of the board had previously contested Swiss Cycling’s decision to support the Irishman.
McQuaid has been severely criticised over his management of the doping scandal surrounding the now-disgraced Lance Armstrong.
McQuaid was accused of brushing accusations against Armstrong, who has since been stripped of his seven Tour de France victories, under the carpet.
The 63-year-old has previously accused his detractors of mounting a “smear campaign” against him.
“I do think there is a certain movement out there against me, which doesn’t want me to be the president of the UCI for their own political reasons, or for their own personal reasons,” he told AFP earlier this month.
He is due to stand against longtime British Cycling president Brian Cookson in the election in Florence on September 27.
But in order to do so he needs to secure a modification to the UCI statutes as under current legislation he is ineligible.
Cookson released a statement expressing his belief that McQuaid should not be allowed to stand for reelection.
“This latest development is of real significance to the Presidential election process. It leaves Mr McQuaid in a very difficult position, particularly when viewed alongside his failure to receive a nomination from his own national federation, as required under the constitution of the UCI,” he said.
“It also places further question marks against his other ‘nominations’ whose validity is in serious doubt and remain a matter of genuine concern to many in the cycling world.
“No attempts at manipulation and legal bluster can take away the doubts and questions.
“The important principle in any democracy is that you must respect the rules as they are, not how you’d like them to be. My hope remains that we have a democratic process based on the rules of the race when it started rather than those made up half way through.”
Cookson was referring to a move by the Malaysian Federation, which has proposed an amendment that would allow a presidential candidate to be supported by two member Federations rather than his own affiliated federation.
If that is successful, McQuaid would be able to stand for election as he has the support of the Thai and Moroccan federations.
The reason he had managed to stay in the race through Swiss support was that although he is Irish, he lives in Switzerland, where the UCI is based.
But McQuaid denied he was trying to manipulate the regulations.
“It is not my choice. It it the Malaysian federation which did it,” he said. “There has been an insinuation that I have been involved in this with the Malaysian federation. I had absolutly no discussion with the Malaysian federation on this.”
Text via AFP.