UCI presidential elections: McQuaid candidature faces important vote this evening by Cycling Ireland board
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Friday, April 12, 2013

UCI presidential elections: McQuaid candidature faces important vote this evening by Cycling Ireland board

by Shane Stokes at 1:05 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
National federation to decide if it will back Irishman for third term

Pat McQuaidPat McQuaid’s bid to secure a third term as UCI President may well hinge on this evening’s decision by Cycling Ireland’s board if it will nominate him for the top political role in the sport.

The Irishman has twice been nominated before by the federation but this time round, there is more uncertainty as the board is divided on the issue. It is thought that the fallout from the Lance Armstrong doping affair and the UCI’s handling of it are amongst the reasons why some of the board members are hesitant about throwing their weight behind McQuaid.

Some of those members are understood to favour change within the sport’s governing body, believing a fresh start is needed.

McQuaid has already met several of those members and will speak to the board as a whole this evening, laying out his reasons why he should be nominated once again and also answering questions which they may put to him.

While there are eight people on the board, seven of those have voting rights. The eighth, Cycling Ireland president Rory Wyley, will cast his vote if there is a tie; for this to happen, one of the board members would have to abstain.

The board can take one of three decisions; it can decide to endorse McQuaid, it can opt not to do so, or it can call an EGM, where the federation members themselves will be able to decide if he should be endorsed.

If McQuaid gets a green light tonight or after an EGM, he can then go forward for re-election at the UCI congress in September. If his candidature is not backed, he will have to apply to the Swiss federation, with the current UCI rules allowing him to seek nomination there as he is living in that country.

However a refusal by Cycling Ireland to endorse him would be a clear setback, and would likely open the way to challenges.

While nobody has yet declared that they will run against him in the UCI elections, VeloNation understands that several individuals are considering doing so and will step forward if Cycling Ireland turns him down this evening.

CI’s doctor Conor McGrane was one of the first to speak out, although he did so as a member of the Swords cycling club rather than in any federation capacity. He highlighted his concerns last November, saying at CI’s AGM that he wanted the members to vote on the matter.

His contention was that the issue was so important that Cycling Ireland’s membership should be the ones to decide if McQuaid was to be backed.

“I strongly think we need a change at the top of the UCI. It is not a personal vendetta against Pat McQuaid, it is more a expression of dissatisfaction with the way the UCI has dealt with the whole doping issue over the past twenty years,” he said at the time.

As his motion was submitted after the deadline for AGM nominations, McGrane was not able to secure an EGM. However Cycling Ireland could opt to do so this evening.

Its board is currently meeting at the Clarion Hotel at Dublin Airport, and after dealing with other topics, will hear a submission from McQuaid at approximately 7pm.

It will then vote on the matter, after which the UCI President will either get an answer or learn that he must await the outcome of an EGM.

McQuaid has been president since Hein Verbruggen stood down in 2005. His two terms have been turbulent ones, with benefits such as the increased globalisation of the sport and the introduction of the biological passport being contrasted with negative headlines relating to doping affairs, the UCI’s handling of the Armstrong matter and its scrapping of the Independent Commission it had initially claimed would fully vindicate its dealings with the Texan plus the US Postal Service team.


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