Pat McQuaid Loses Swiss Backing In Int'l Cycling Federation Presidential Race
Int'l Cycling Union President Pat McQuaid "has lost Switzerland's backing for his bid to be re-elected," leaving the Irishman in what rival Brian Cookson described as "a very difficult position," according to Brian Homewood of REUTERS. The Swiss cycling federation confirmed on Wednesday that "it had withdrawn its nomination for McQuaid, who failed to gain backing from his own federation, for political reasons." The incumbent "still has the backing of the Thailand and Morocco federations," however these "have become the subject of controversy after the British cycling federation suggested the nominations were made after the deadline stipulated by the electoral rules" (REUTERS, 8/21). In London, Robin Scott-Elliot reported the Swiss nomination "was due to be challenged in a court in Zurich" Wednesday but that "has been cancelled." The Swiss reportedly "feared the cost of losing the case" -- some £70,000 ($109,000) -- would leave the body "facing possible bankruptcy." McQuaid believes that the legal challenge to the Swiss nomination "was instigated by" sportswear firm Skins Owner Jamie Fuller, who "helped set up and funds the Change Cycling Now pressure group." Fuller "welcomed the Swiss decision." Fuller: "This should finally signal an end to Mr. McQuaid’s quest for re-election" (INDEPENDENT, 8/21).
QUESTIONS ABOUND: In London, William Fotheringham reported in the past, the presidency "has drawn little attention." However, the campaign "is being fought against the backdrop of last year's revelations" about Lance Armstrong, and why the UCI, under McQuaid and former UCI President Hein Verbruggen, "failed to take stronger action against the Texan." The UCI received a donation of more than $100,000 from Armstrong in the early '00s. Questions linger about whether a "truth and reconciliation process should begin to clear the air over doping in cycling" (GUARDIAN, 8/21). BLOOMBERG's Ben Priechenfried reported McQuaid "faced calls to resign from Greg LeMond and other former riders" (BLOOMBERG, 8/21).
FIRING BACK: In a statement, McQuaid said, "This election will be decided by the voting delegates at the UCI Congress in Florence, Italy on September 27th despite attempts by him and those who support his campaign to eliminate me from the contest." McQuaid said that he obeyed all UCI rules and that his opponent and adversaries were content to mire the election in legal cases and legal argument in an attempt to discredit and overthrow him. McQuaid: "My other nominations from the Thai Cycling Association and the Federation Royal Marocanine are valid and were all received in accordance with the UCI rules by the designated closing date" (SBD Global).