Proposed Rules Changes Cause UCI Election Controversy

July 30, 2013

Proposed changes to the rules of presidential nominations have stirred controversy in the upcoming International Cycling Union (UCI) election and have been described as a ‘sign of desperation’ from candidate Brian Cookson.

The Malaysian Cycling Federation have proposed a significant change to Article 51 of the UCI constitution which could assist incumbent president Pat McQuaid (pictured) who has struggled in the nomination process.

The amendment would mean that candidates may be nominated by any two federations as opposed to their national federation only as the rule currently stands.

If accepted, the rule would greatly assist McQuaid who was rejected by Cycling Ireland due to his full-time residency in Switzerland. Swiss Cycling’s member Kurt Buergi, along with colleagues Mathias Galli and Patrick Calcagni, are pursing legal action against McQuaid’s nomination by the country’s national federation.

The legal action is partly sponsored by Skins sportwear chief executive Jaimie Fuller who recently launched Change Cycling Now, a campaign group.

Mike Plant, a member of the UCI’s Management Committee, called the move “unconscionable, unethical, dishonest, unprofessional, manipulative and destructive” in an e-mail to Christophe Hubschmid, general director of the world governing body.

Cookson, McQuaid’s opponent in the election and president of British Cycling, condemned the move, calling it an “embarrass[ment to] an entire sport in an attempt to try and cling onto power.”

McQuaid and the UCI have thus-far failed to respond to the comments.