Fuller petitions Swiss Cycling not to nominate McQuaid for third term as UCI president
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Friday, May 10, 2013

Fuller petitions Swiss Cycling not to nominate McQuaid for third term as UCI president

by Shane Stokes at 7:31 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
“If Mr. McQuaid is endorsed for election to the position of President of the UCI…we will continue to see the sport decline.”

Pat McQuaidAlthough Pat McQuaid has not at this point officially sought nomination from Swiss Cycling in relation to the UCI presidential elections in September, speculation that he could do so to avoid a complicated situation in relation to Irish backing has prompted Jaimie Fuller to write to the federation over the matter.

Fuller is chairman of the Skins clothing company and a founding member of the Change Cycling Now pressure group which wants widespread change in the UCI and elsewhere.

He believes that McQuaid is likely considering the Swiss route to nomination after Cycling Ireland put its previous endorsement of him on hold, and instead said that its members would decide.

That vote will be carried out at an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) to be held in Dublin on June 15th. Fuller believes that McQuaid will likely not receive the backing he needs and as a result, will likely go the Swiss route instead.

In his letter to the board members of Swiss Cycling, Fuller argues against his re-election. “It is my strong belief that the sport of cycling will be irreparably harmed if Pat McQuaid is endorsed and re-elected as the UCI President. The UCI should operate as a democratic institution but the harsh reality is that there is a lack of potential candidates prepared to put their hand up for the Presidential election due to a fear of retribution should Mr. McQuaid succeed in retaining the position,” he states.

“For the last 22 years, there have been two people at the head of world cycling and it is time for change. The sport of competitive and professional cycling is at a cross-roads. The UCI has alienated itself with the professional teams, fans and stakeholders as well as the World Anti-doping Authority (WADA). This alienation is the sole responsibility of Pat McQuaid and Hein Verbruggen.

“Rather than listen to criticism, take on board advice and acknowledge the facts, Mr. McQuaid and Mr. Verbruggen used UCI funds to attack and silence stakeholders in the law courts of Switzerland.”

He points to the Paul Kimmage case as an example of how others within the sport view those actions, saying that there is a clear indication that fans and others are not happy. “If you want to understand how this behaviour is viewed by the cycling public, you need look no further than social media and how the Paul Kimmage fund raised approximately USD 96,000 to help defend him against Mr. McQuaid’s aggressive and unfair tactics.”

In an unrelated complication to Kimmage, that defence fund has been unexpectedly moved out of the original account by Aaron Brown, who has thus far refused to turn it over to a neutral third party.

Brown has faced accusations that he has spent a portion of the fund and while he denies this, he has not yet provided the proof requested by Kimmage to show that this is not the case. The legal counsel he has said he has retained has not responded to two contact requests from VeloNation, nor have they contacted the legal representation of Cyclismas co-founder Lesli Cohen, who is suing Brown.

Fuller yesterday said that Skins would commit to underwrite any legal bills which Kimmage may face should McQuaid and Verbruggen reactive their suspended defamation case against him while his defence fund is unavailable.

In his letter, Fuller states that General Counsel for SKINS, Benjamin Fitzmaurice, wrote an email two days ago to the Swiss Cycling President Richard Chassot to seek a meeting offering ‘an alternate view to the potential endorsement of Pat McQuaid for the role of President.’ He said that thus far, no reply had been received from Chassot.

Fuller states that he is prepared to meet with the board or its individual members to discuss his concerns, but argues strongly that a new president is needed.

“Much has been written about the failures of Pat McQuaid in the administration of cycling. You only have to look to recent events where he unilaterally established, at great expense, an Independent Commission (UCIIC) to investigate the findings of corruption and mismanagement at the UCI in the USADA ‘Reasoned Decision’, only to disband the whole process when the UCIIC exercised their right to act in an independent fashion. Mr. McQuaid unilaterally committed and was prepared to waste in excess of half of the UCI Reserve fund to this process,” he stated.

“The administration of cycling needs to change. The unequivocal overhaul of cycling can only be achieved by a leadership, rooted in integrity within a credible and capable governing body. Mr. McQuaid is not that man to overhaul the administration of cycling and change the culture within. If Mr. McQuaid is endorsed for election to the position of President of the UCI, nothing will change. We will continue to see the sport decline.”

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