McQuaid Faces Uphill Battle For Re-Election After Swiss Cycling Withdraw Nomination

August 21, 2013

President of the International Cycling Union (UCI) Pat McQuaid has suffered a serious set-back in his attempts to be re-elected after Swiss Cycling withdrew their nomination.

The Irishman failed to gain a nomination from his home federation, Cycling Ireland, and must now rely on a back-dated change in the election legislation if he is to be able to run against British Cycling President Brian Cookson.

The Asian Cycling Federation backed a motion that proposed candidates be nominated by any two federations, instead of just their domestic federation and this will now be debated in Florence.

If this motion is approved it would be back-dated to the current campaign, but if it is not approved McQuaid will not be able to run, paving the way for a new UCI President for the first time since 2006.

Rival Cookson said in a statement: “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.”

Cookson continued by questioning the validity of McQuaid’s nominations from Thailand and Morocco.

“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,” said Cookson.

“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.”

Court case

One reason for Swiss Cycling withdrawing their nomination is a legal challenge they faced regarding their nomination.

Reports suggested the federation feared losing the Zurich court case and therefore being left with £70,000 worth of legal costs – a fee that could bankrupt the organisation.

A statement from Swiss Cycling read: “The director of the Swiss Cycling committee returned to the decision of May 13, 2013 concerning the appointment of Pat McQuaid and yesterday decided to withdraw the nomination of Pat McQuaid for his re-election as president of the UCI. Consequently, the arbitration requested by the three members of Swiss Cycling is cancelled, since there is no reason.”

McQuaid has faced significant pressure in his Presidential role, with the Lance Armstrong doping scandal sending shockwaves throughout the sport and damaging public opinion.

Jamie Fuller, who McQuaid believes instigated the legal challenge against the Swiss nomination and who owns sportswear firm Skins said: “This should finally signal an end to Mr McQuaid’s quest for re-election. Mr McQuaid should now accept that the writing is on the wall and stop this ridiculous charade. His latest stunt of attempting to introduce retrospective changes to the UCI constitution reflect a man who is both delusional and despotic; his arrogance knows no bounds.

“His fellow countrymen in Ireland had second thoughts when they withdrew their endorsement and now the Swiss have done the same. I would hope that, by now, Mr McQuaid is getting the message.”

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