Cycling Ireland board to decide on April 12th if it will nominate McQuaid for third term as UCI president
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Monday, March 25, 2013

Cycling Ireland board to decide on April 12th if it will nominate McQuaid for third term as UCI president

by Shane Stokes at 7:39 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
Some calls exist for an EGM so federation’s members can decide

Pat McQuaidUCI President Pat McQuaid’s bid to secure a third term in office will hinge in part on the outcome of a meeting to be held in Dublin in two and a half week’s time. The board of Cycling Ireland is due to meet on April 12th and to make a decision then whether or not it will nominate McQuaid for the top role.

VeloNation understands that the seven-person board is currently divided on the issue, with some willing to endorse McQuaid’s candidacy and others having reservations. It is thought that the US Postal Service affair, Lance Armstrong’s doping and the UCI plus McQuaid’s handling of that issue are reasons for the split.

According to Cycling Ireland CEO Geoff Liffey, a discussion will be held amongst board members at that meeting, after which a vote will be cast.

There appears to be three possible outcomes to the meeting; the board decides to back McQuaid’s third bid for presidency, it declines to do so, or it allows the members to decide, calling an EGM where the clubs would vote on the matter.

While Liffey played down this third possibility, it is understood that a portion of the board feel this could be the fairest way to determine how things should progress.

There is a possibility McQuaid may speak to the board before the April 12th vote. If so, it would give him the chance to articulate why he feels he should be nominated for re-election.

If he does present his thoughts to the board, there have been suggestions that others should be allowed to articulate an opposing view in order to offer balance prior to a decision being made.

VeloNation has received confirmation from Change Cycling Now’s Jaimie Fuller that he made an unofficial approach to Cycling Ireland seeking the chance to also give his thoughts.

Fuller and Change Cycling Now have been calling for a fresh start in the sport, with that body wanting McQuaid to stand down as a result of the Armstrong/US Postal Service affair.

“It's absolutely crucial that they hear both sides of the discussion, otherwise the whole process will be a sham,” he told VeloNation, saying that he believed in the interests of balance, that the board should be able to hear an alternative view.

“In order for cycling to restore it's own integrity, this process has to be beyond reproach. With so many questions being asked about the UCI, Pat McQuaid and Hein Verbruggen in the wake of the Lance Armstrong affair, the sanctioning of a one-sided argument is simply not acceptable.”

Fuller said that he would be willing to travel to Ireland to give a presentation to the board. However Liffey told VeloNation that he felt it would be ‘bizarre’ to invite others in to speak, even if McQuaid himself made a submission. At least one board member is in favour of a differing opinion being presented, in order that two points of view are articulated.

McQuaid dismissed calls for his own resignation after USADA’s reasoned decision and Armstrong’s subsequent admission that he had doped. He has also rejected suggestions that the UCI shielded Armstrong, although he has accepted that the governing body receiving substantial donations from the Texan was probably a mistake.

The UCI came under fire for its decision to scrap the Independent Commission it had previously announced would be able to conduct an investigation into the governing body’s handing of the Armstrong/US Postal Service case.

The UCI has said that it would instead consider the possibility of setting up a truth and reconciliation commission, but even if that does ultimately happen, it will not take place before the presidential elections.

McQuaid recently insisted to reporters at the Asian cycling championships that the UCI’s biological passport was foolproof and that the sport had suffered no negative consequences from the Armstrong affair.

Opinion is divided amongst Cycling Ireland’s members about whether or not McQuaid should be voted in again as UCI president.

Should Cycling Ireland ultimately decide not to endorse McQuaid’s candidacy, he can seek nomination instead from the Swiss national federation, as he is a resident there.

However it would be seen an embarrassment if his national federation – or its members, in the case of an EGM – declined his request.


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