McQuaid asserts he doesn’t need the Malaysian amendment to the UCI Constitution to accept other nominations
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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

McQuaid asserts he doesn’t need the Malaysian amendment to the UCI Constitution to accept other nominations

by Shane Stokes at 7:22 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
In radio interview, Irishman says he’s a member of ‘six or seven’ federations and can utilise any for their backing

Pat McQuaidTwo days after the Malaysian cycling federation proposed a controversial retroactive modification to the UCI constitution which would open the way for presidential candidates to secure nomination from any federation worldwide, not just their own, Pat McQuaid has said that he has no need to rely on that motion to go forward for election.

Speaking on the Today with Pat Kenny show on Irish radio station RTE – a show which was hosted on Wednesday by Myles Dungan – McQuaid said that he was the member of ‘six or seven’ federations and, despite the wording of Article 51 of the UCI Constitution, claimed that he can accept the nomination of any one of those.

Until this week many accepted the interpretation that a candidate’s ‘home’ federation had to be the one to put them forward for election. The wording of Article 51.1 is the reason for this: ‘The candidates for the presidency shall be nominated by the federation of the candidate.’

Indeed, when McQuaid’s nomination by Cycling Ireland was threatened [and subsequently rescinded] by its members when the federation put it to a club delegates’ vote at an extraordinary general meeting, the Irishman then sought nomination from Swiss Cycling.

The explanation at the time was that he has lived in Switzerland for the past eight years, and therefore that country is now his country of residence.

His nomination by that country is under legal challenge and, depending on the outcome of that case, could be rescinded.

The declaration this week that he is a member of the Moroccan and Thai federations is the first time McQuaid has made that public, and also the first time he said that he has been nominated by them. He states that if the Swiss nomination is overturned, that he can rely on the backing of one of those two newly-mentioned federations.

Speaking to Dungan, McQuaid dismissed the notion that Article 51 limits candidates to just one federation.

“The UCI rules are quite clear: they permit anybody to be a member of any number of federations, and it also states that any federation can nominate one of its members to be a candidate as the candidacy of the UCI. The word ‘home’ is not in the UCI regulations,” he said. “So people who say that - and I have heard interviews that journalists say he should have been nominated by his home federation, Ireland, or then by home federation Switzerland - are not correct. The rules state that any federation can nominate one of its members for the presidency of the UCI.”

Dungan challenged him on this, stating the precise wording and saying he believed it meant something other than what McQuaid was suggesting. That exchange is as follows, and can be heard here:

Myles Dungan: Are you being a bit Jesuitical of your interpretation of the relevant article of the UCI constitution? I have it in front of me now. Article 51 states ‘the candidate for the presidency shall be nominated by the federation of the candidate.’

Now, clearly there is ambiguity there…are you not at the very least taking advantage of that ambiguity? You have not secured a nomination from what would be seen as your federation, ie Cycling Ireland…

Pat McQuaid: The federation of the candidate is the federation of which the candidate is a member.

MD: But if the candidate can be a member of 170 federations, surely the candidate has to decide for himself which federation he is actively a member of. You are not an active member of the Moroccan federation, are you?

PMQ: You said yourself in the beginning that Ireland should be my federation. I have spent very little time in Ireland over the past eight years, so I am not an active member of Irish cycling.

MD: But that is where you came from, those are your origins, this is where your secured your initial nomination, your initial step up the ladder to the UCI. So are you not morally a member of Cycling Ireland?

PMQ: I am a member of Cycling Ireland. I have a licence from Cycling Ireland…

MD: ..But this is the federation of the candidate. There has to be an interpretation of that ruling. What is the actual federation of the candidate? You have no connection with Morocco, you have umpteen connections with Ireland. So therefore surely, morally, Ireland is the federation of the candidate in this case…

PMQ: You can talk about morally all you want. I am talking about the rules. I am not breaking any rules.

MD: Well, you have broken the letter of the rules, Pat…

PMQ: That is not even bending the rules… The UCI Constitution states, as you have just read out, the federation of which the candidate is a member. And I am a member of that federation.

Dungan later returned to the precise wording of Article 51:

MD: Again to come back to this Article 51… ‘The candidates for the presidency shall be nominated by the federation of the candidate.’ The rules state ‘the’ federation of the candidate, not ‘a’ federation of the candidate. Surely you have got to make a decision what is your federation? And Morocco, let’s face it, Pat, is not your federation…

PMQ: Morocco is a federation I have close association with, close ties with. They have made me a member of their federation and they have nominated me for president.

MD: But it is not the federation of the candidate…

PMQ: But I don’t have any ‘the’ federation of the candidate. The fact is that I am the president of 175 federations. I left Ireland eight years ago so I have little or nothing to do with the Irish federation.

I am living in Switzerland, I attend Swiss races and I am going to a world championship here in Switzerland at the weekend and I am close enough connected with Swiss Cycling, but I am likewise closely enough with many other federations.

VeloNation understands that this week’s events are being studied legally, and there is a possibility that they could ultimately be contested in court. However this is yet to be determined.

What is clear is that the interpretation of Article 51 is a controversial one, and so too McQuaid’s declaration that he can simply use the backing of the Moroccan and the Thai federations, and that they had nominated him prior to the previous closing date of June 29th.

In the interview, McQuaid also dismissed the strong objection voiced by UCI management committee member Mike Plant, who said that he considered the proposed change to the presidential nomination process less than sixty days from the election was, ‘unconscionable, unethical, dishonest, unprofessional, manipulative and destructive.’

“I don’t accept that. I don’t accept that, because as I just said to you – what they are trying to do is to blame me on this,” he said of Cookson and Plant, who he said are allies. “They are saying that I am manipulating this, I am doing this for my needs. But it is not the case at all. I told you I don’t need this, and the Malaysian federation decided to do it. It is really for you to ask them why have they done that.”

In the audio interview here, McQuaid speaks about the UCI’s testing of – and inability to catch - Lance Armstrong, the backdating of the prescription he presented after he tested positive in the 1999 Tour, criticism of the governing body, his belief that Chris Froome is clean and represents a new beginning for the sport, plus the work he said he has done in anti-doping since coming to power.

“I can take a certain amount of credit for changing the doping culture in our sport,” he said. “And I need another couple of years to get that culture out of the way completely…”

Getting that couple of years may ultimately depend on the Swiss nomination being upheld in the courts, or in any potential legal challenge over the Moroccan or Thai nominations being defeated in the same institutions.


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