UCI insists McQuaid’s nomination by Swiss Cycling doesn’t clash with its rules over licences
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Friday, May 17, 2013

UCI insists McQuaid’s nomination by Swiss Cycling doesn’t clash with its rules over licences

by Shane Stokes at 3:22 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Membership rather than licences said to be key factor, murmurs that other candidates could yet stand

Pat McQuaidResponding to questions concerning Swiss Cycling’s nomination of Pat McQuaid for a third term as UCI president, the UCI has today insisted that there is no violation of its rules in relation to his membership of two different national federations.

After the Swiss federation confirmed yesterday that it had agreed to back the Irishman one month before Cycling Ireland was due to hold an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) over his nomination, questions were raised about how this aligned with current UCI regulations.

Several individuals pointed to UCI rules such as article 1.1.009, which states that ‘a licenceholder may hold the licence of only one national federation,’ and article 1.1.008, ‘the licence shall be valid for one year, from 1 January to 31 December.’

Their contention was that as McQuaid is a member of Cycling Ireland, holding honorary membership which is renewed each year, that he was not eligible to join the Swiss federation.

However contacted by VeloNation today, UCI communications manager Devra Pitt Gétaz said that those rules didn’t apply. “There is a difference between being a member of a cycling federation and holding a license from a cycling federation,” she stated.

“No UCI rule forbids an individual from being a member of more than one federation although a licence, which is required to participate in cycling events, can only be held from one federation.

“Pat McQuaid's honorary membership of Cycling Ireland includes a licence card. He is a full member of Swiss cycling and has not applied for a licence from Swiss cycling (or received one).”

However she added that a licence is not necessary to seek nomination. “No rule prevents Swiss Cycling from nominating Pat McQuaid because he is an honorary member of Cycling Ireland. This would still be the case even if he were an ordinary member of Cycling Ireland, which he is not.”

Article 51 of the UCI constitution pertains to the UCI presidential elections. It states ‘the candidates for the presidency shall be nominated by the federation of the candidate,’ without specifying that they actually need to hold a licence issued by that federation.

What happens next?

Swiss Cycling may have said that it will back McQuaid, but Cycling Ireland has said that must continue on with the EGM called for June 15th. Its CEO Geoff Liffey stated yesterday that under company law, EGMs cannot be cancelled once they have been called, and so that meeting will go ahead.

The federation also released – belatedly – its declared reasons for supporting McQuaid at the original board meeting on April 12th.

“Cycling Ireland nominated Mr. Pat McQuaid to stand as a candidate; it was felt he should be judged on his record by the delegates at the UCI Congress in September. Not to let him stand would be to act as ‘judge and jury’ and deprive other cycling nations an opportunity to debate and deliberate on the selection of the UCI President,” it said in a statement.

It then highlighted initiatives it said that McQuaid or the UCI had introduced during his time in office as being factors that were taken into account, including the globalisation of cycling, the gender equality of Olympic cycling program, the introduction of BMX discipline to the Olympic program, the adoption and promotion of Paracycling programs, as well as anti-doping initiatives such as the biological passport and whereabouts systems, the no needles policy, the True Champion or Cheat Program and the introduction of a confidential hotline.

The board member who opposed his nomination at that April 12th vote, Anto Moran, today said that he felt it was important for clubs to vote on June 15th and make their feelings clear.

He has been one of the most vocal Irish voices in calling for change within the UCI and was instrumental in overturning the board backing as he realised the regulations had not been followed pertaining to a board member chairing that meeting.

“We are still treating the EGM as if nothing has happened,” Moran said, referring to the Swiss nomination of McQuaid. “We are going full steam ahead. At the end of next week or the start of the following week, we will issue our reasons why we think clubs should not nominate Pat McQuaid.”

He said that he was unimpressed that the UCI president went to the Swiss federation rather than letting the democratic process of the EGM proceed and vote on his candidature.

“I think this is a slap in the face for the Irish cyclists, and the board,” he said. “He has come and looked for the nomination, and then he decides that it looks a big iffy and off he pops to Switzerland.”

As regards the EGM, he accepts that the June 15th vote will likely not affect McQuaid’s nomination. However he said that doesn’t diminish the opportunity clubs have to make their voices heard. “It is a symbolic vote as it may not affect his re-election, but I do think it would be a massive blow to his credibility if the members voted no.”

Thus far no other candidates have as yet emerged. However VeloNation understands that several are contemplating stepping forward amid whispers of frustration over the latter months of McQuaid’s presidency.

Candidates have just over one month to confirm they will fight for the top slot in the sport.


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