Walkiewicz hits back at McQuaid, rejects claims he was found guilty by UCI Ethics Commission
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Sunday, June 09, 2013

Walkiewicz hits back at McQuaid, rejects claims he was found guilty by UCI Ethics Commission

by Shane Stokes at 3:12 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
UEC honorary president claims McQuaid offered UCI position to Makarov in exchange for his support

UCIResponding to a communication sent by Pat McQuaid to the national federations on June 5th which cast doubts over his ethics, European Cycling Union (UEC) honorary president Wojciech Walkiewicz had hit back in a lengthy letter released today.

The Pole denies claims made against him and also answers insinuations that UCI Management committee member Igor Makarov has been trying to influence the result of the UCI presidential elections. He claimed that nothing untoward had taken place and that furthermore, that McQuaid himself tried to buy the Russian’s support by offering him an unspecified UCI position.

“It is true that Brian Cookson and Igor Makarov met in Moscow. I did not accompany them and I am surprised you raise this issue,” he wrote. “Do you not have any meetings with various people from Europe or even from all the world?

“Did you not meet Igor Makarov in St. Petersburg promising him a position within the UCI authorities in exchange for his support for your candidacy?” Walkiewicz continued, countering McQuaid’s claims that Makarov had tried to bring a number of management committee members to Moscow in order to gain their support.

He said that McQuaid would have the opportunity to address the topic in the forthcoming UCI management Committee meeting in Bergen, where Brian Cookson, David Lappartient, Igor Makarov and others set to be present and the topic would be discussed.

Denial of improper actions:


In the letter, which was sent to a number of media outlets today, the Pole takes issue with other aspects of what McQuaid claimed four days ago. One of the topics addressed were the suggestions that he was ‘notorious for manipulating elections,’ that he had been found guilty by the UCI Ethics Commission in 2006 of breaching the UCI Code of Ethics in relation to trying to pre-determine the results of the 2005 UEC elections, and that he may have committed the same offence in the elections of 2009 and 2013.

The former UCI management committee member also criticises efforts made to link him, UCI Management Committee member Igor Makarov and McQuaid’s presidential rival Brian Cookson, as specified in this excerpt from McQuaid’s earlier letter.

“Mr Walkiewicz is employed by UCI Management Committee member Igor Makarov. A number of other Management Committee members have told me that they had been invited to Moscow but had refused. Mr Cookson, however, informed me recently that he was going to Moscow to meet with Mr Makarov and Mr Walkiewicz. I have subsequently had confirmation that at least one meeting took place, although perhaps in a different capital city.”

In Walkiewicz’s letter, which was sent to McQuaid and also distributed to a number of media outlets, he describes himself as ‘sad’ after reading the earlier communication, which had been sent by McQuaid to the various national federations.

He also said that the letter was “packed with untrue and insulting opinions on me as well as on Mr Brian Cookson and Mr Igor Makarov,” and listed the following points as being false:

• You are not an inviolable person who cannot be criticised and who deserves to be re-elected for the position of the UCI President.
• A small group of activists who have nothing reasonable to offer to cycling is trying to threaten you.
• According to you, Brian Cookson is an inappropriate and incompetent candidate for the UCI President despite his well known professional successes with British Cycling.
• Brian Cookson is just a pawn in a larger game. (The position has already been taken by you obeying orders of your predecessor.)
• You are the defender of democratic methods. If it was so, you would not offer the UCI Vice President positions to different persons in exchange for support at the UCI Presidential elections.
• Finally, you persistently call me a notorious manipulator of the UEC and UCI elections. There are many National Federations in Europe which have contributed to the development of cycling, most of them run by intelligent leaders and it is absurd to claim that they are led on Walkiewicz’s leash.

He issues a strict denial of the allegations of ethical findings against him. “I have never been found guilty by the UCI Ethical Commission. Both me and the former UEC President, Vladimir Holecek, have been interrogated on Hein Verbruggen’s request who wanted to reprimand us and whole Europe,” he wrote. “Until today the UCI Ethic Commission has not declared me guilty of breaching the UCI Code of Ethics since they have not found any basis for such judgment.”

Walkiewicz goes on to comment on the points made about the European Cycling Union, claiming that McQuaid never treated it objectively, often doesn’t answer letters to him sent by the UEC, and that he discriminates against Europe.

Denies Itera sponsorship of UEC was questionable:

He also rejects the insinuation of bribery made by McQuaid when the Irishman wrote of his “extreme concern about a donation of almost €1million made by Mr Makarov’s company, Itera, to the UEC within weeks of the UEC elections.”

“I cannot understand why you believe that the 1 mln (one million euro – ed.) sponsorship funds from Itera, a company owned by Igor Makarov, could be any form of pre-election corruption,” Walkiewicz replied. “Itera had already been the main sponsor of the European Cycling Union for three years. It has never been your concern, until now. The third sponsorship contract between Itera and UEC has suddenly caught your attention.

“You shall not worry about the fate of the funds: according to the sponsorship contract (signed by the new UEC President) they will be distributed among the National Federations and allotted for sport and organizational help. The difference between you and Igor Makarov is simple: he gives money to support cycling and you take money for your work.

“I do confirm that I am one of Mr Makarov’s advisors and I am satisfied with that. I think I have the full right to work for whoever I choose.”

In the letter, which is reproduced in full below, Walkiewicz also points out that the initial UCI refusal to grant a WorldTour licence to Katusha was later overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport; McQuaid had raised this in his earlier communication as a reason why Makarov might be acting against him.

He also added that the UEC would hold an extraordinary congress in Zurich on September 14th and that the presidential candidates would have a chance to present their manifestos to the various federations then. After this, those federations would decide which of the candidates they will support in the later UCI presidential election.

The final vote is still over three months away, but what’s clear from Walkiewicz’s letter is that claims made as part of a presidential campaign may well be challenged.

----


The full letter from Wojciech Walkiewicz to Pat McQuaid is as follows:


Dear Mr McQuaid,

The letter that you sent to National Cycling Federations on June 3rd has been forwarded to me by a journalist from one of the cycling websites and it made me feel sad. Although the letter was not addressed to me, I decided to reply to it as it is packed with untrue and insulting opinions on me as well as on Mr Brian Cookson and Mr Igor Makarov. The following allegations specified in your letter are false:

• You are not an inviolable person who cannot be criticised and who deserves to be re-elected for the position of the UCI President.
• A small group of activists who have nothing reasonable to offer to cycling is trying to threaten you.
• According to you, Brian Cookson is an inappropriate and incompetent candidate for the UCI President despite his well known professional successes with British Cycling.
• Brian Cookson is just a pawn in a larger game. (The position has already been taken by you obeying orders of your predecessor.)
• You are the defender of democratic methods. If it was so, you would not offer the UCI Vice President positions to different persons in exchange for support at the UCI Presidential elections.
• Finally, you persistently call me a notorious manipulator of the UEC and UCI elections. There are many National Federations in Europe which have contributed to the development of cycling, most of them run by intelligent leaders and it is absurd to claim that they are led on Walkiewicz’s leash.

Nevertheless, I feel satisfied that you devoted so much space in your letter to my persona.

The European Continental Confederation is the base for the existence of the UCI and a great part of world cycling but you have never treated it objectively. Very often you did not reply to our letters, vividly discriminating Europe. Lack of approval for introducing men and women elite European Championships is just an example.

I have never been found guilty by the UCI Ethical Commission. Both me and the former UEC President, Vladimir Holecek, have been interrogated on Hein Verbruggen’s request who wanted to reprimand us and whole Europe. Until today the UCI Ethic Commission has not declared me guilty of breaching the UCI Code of Ethics since they have not found any basis for such judgment.

I cannot understand why you believe that the 1 mln (one million euro – ed.) sponsorship funds from Itera, a company owned by Igor Makarov, could be any form of pre-election corruption. Itera had already been the main sponsor of the European Cycling Union for three years. It has never been your concern, until now. The third sponsorship contract between Itera and UEC has suddenly caught your attention. You shall not worry about the fate of the funds: according to the sponsorship contract (signed by the new UEC President) they will be distributed among the National Federations and allotted for sport and organizational help. The difference between you and Igor Makarov is simple: he gives money to support cycling and you take money for your work.

I do confirm that I am one of Mr Makarov’s advisors and I am satisfied with that. I think I have the full right to work for whoever I choose.

In your letter you quote many of Brian Cookson’s statements that appeared in January on Cycling News website. A few months have passed since January and obviously a lot has changed. Brian Cookson, just as anybody else, has the full right to change his mind. He is sure to explain the reasons behind the decision in his programme. Anyway, it is a pity you did not mention or even quote any of numerous articles (not necessarily positive) about yourself.

At the last UEC Management Committee meeting, on the request of David Lappartient, it was decided that an extraordinary UEC Congress will take place in Zurich on September 14th. Both UCI President candidates will be invited to present their programmes. It will all be up to the delegates from the European National federations to decide which programme they find more convincing and they will choose Europe’s favourite.

Until today nobody knows why the World Tour license was denied to Team Katusha by the UCI License Commission. Just after the decision was announced Mr Cookson officially criticized it in writing. You also had the chance to get acquainted with his letter. Finally, the higher authority annulled the decision and Katusha regained the World Tour license. I consider this subject closed. However, I am curious what kind of conflicting interests you see between Sky Team, Katusha team and the UCI License Commission if Brian Cookson becomes the UCI President. In 2012 challenge both teams are ranked at the top. Are you trying to undermine the sport results of the riders from both teams? What do you have in mind?

It is true that Brian Cookson and Igor Makarov met in Moscow. I did not accompany them and I am surprised you raise this issue. Do you not have any meetings with various people from Europe or even from all the world?

Finally, your question about any assurances which, at least in your opinion, Brian Cookson has given me or Igor Makarov seems odd to me. Did you not meet Igor Makarov in St. Petersburg promising him a position within the UCI authorities in exchange for his support for your candidacy? You will have a chance to address this offer at the forthcoming UCI management Committee meeting in Bergen where Brian Cookson, David Lappartient, Igor Makarov and others will be present. You will also have a chance to present your global plan (“and not just British, Irish or even Russian”)

Your achievements in last 8 years will be evaluated by the Continental delegates in accordance with the UCI statute at the UCI Congress in September.

Good luck.

Wojciech Walkiewicz



Also see:

Raising doubts, McQuaid reacts to news of Cookson’s candidature for UCI President
Legal challenge to Swiss Cycling’s nomination of McQuaid for UCI presidential role


 

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