McQuaid vs Cookson: UCI staff sought controversial addition to Malaysian federation proposal over presidency
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Saturday, August 17, 2013

McQuaid vs Cookson: UCI staff sought controversial addition to Malaysian federation proposal over presidency

by VeloNation Press at 1:59 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Lithuanian federation reports matter to UCI Ethics Commission, threatens legal action

UCIAlthough the UCI has previously indicated that a Malaysian cycling federation and Asian Cycling Confederation proposal which could benefit current president Pat McQuaid was submitted by those bodies unprompted, it has now been reported that UCI staff sought, and received, modifications to that amendment.

On July 29th it was revealed that the Malaysian federation had proposed a change to Article 51 of the UCI constitution, which would allow presidential candidates to be proposed by any two federations. In addition to that, UCI director general Christophe Hubschmid explained that if the proposal was passed at the UCI Congress at the end of September, it would be retrospectively applied to this year’s elections.

In effect, the previous closing date for nominations of June 29th would be changed. “As National Federations are being informed about this proposal after the original deadline to nominate presidential candidates has passed, as a transitional provision, for the 2013 Presidential elections only, the new amendment also proposes to allow any two National Federations to put forward candidates from now until a deadline of Friday 30 August 2013 at 12:00 CEST,” Hubschmid wrote in a letter circulated to the national federations.

While the essence of the proposal was recognised as having merits, the retrospective change in closing date for nominations was seen as very controversial, particularly as it was revealed in the same letter that McQuaid had received the backing of the Moroccan and Thai federations.

It appeared that the amendment would allow him to draw on those nominations if his current Swiss backing – which is under legal appeal - was deemed out of order.

McQuaid subsequently claimed that he received those nominations prior to the original June 29th cutoff date, although these nominations were never mentioned publically prior to July 29th and he has provided no proof of their filing by the closing date.

The situation has now become more complicated, and indeed more controversial, after Insidethegames.biz revealed that UCI staff themselves sought and received modifications to that proposal.

The website stated that the new proposal was drafted with the help of Hubschmid and Amina Lanaya, the UCI’s head of legal services.

The requested changes came in identical letters they jointly signed and sent on June 27 to Hee Wook Cho, President of the Asian Cycling Confederation (ACC) and Datuk Haji Abu Samah Wahab, head of the Malaysian federation.

“I note from section 4 of the rationale for the proposal that it is the Malaysian National Cycling Federation's intention that the proposed amendment, if accepted, applies to the elections that will take place at the 2013 Congress,” they wrote.

“Therefore, I would ask you to consider adding a transitional clause to your amendment, so as to enable National Federations to nominate candidates under the proposed amendment in case it should be accepted by the 2013 Congress to apply to the elections that will take place at that Congress.”

In that letter, they then made suggestions as to how the amended clause should be phrased.

“This transitional clause may be as follows,” they wrote. “For the presidential elections at the 2013 congress nominations for candidates nominated by 2 federations other than the federation of the candidate may be deposited, under penalty of inadmissibility, until Friday 30 August 2013 at 12.00 CEST (UTC +2). The national federations will be informed of any such nominations on Monday 2 September 2013.”

That exact wording was then included in letters by the ACC and Malaysian federations the following day to Hubschmid and UCI legal advisor Philippe Verbiest.

It makes clear that the UCI itself introduced the most controversial aspect of the new proposal. As Cookson already had his nomination secured and as McQuaid is the candidate with question marks over his backing, it appears that the proposed rule change suited him alone.

Contacted by the Insidethegames.biz, a UCI spokesman claimed that the requested change to the deadline was ‘more appropriate and transparent.’

“The correspondence between the UCI and the Asian Cycling Confederation and the Malaysian National Cycling Federation discussing the amendment of Article 51 of the UCI Constitution was sent to all National Federations with the 2013 Congress materials on 28 July 2013,” stated that spokesman.

“The proposal and accompanying rationale which was initially put forward by the Malaysian Federation - as you will have seen - sought to ensure that the proposal came into immediate force and that it was applied to the 2013 elections.

“In practice this would have allowed new candidates to be proposed for the Presidential election immediately after the possible passing of the Malaysian amendment - potentially minutes before the election for the new President.

“Given this scenario, the UCI proposed a transitional clause to the Federation and Confederation, which they accepted and subsequently proposed, with a deadline of 30 August 2013 for any additional nominations - subject of course to the amendment being accepted by Congress.

“UCI felt this was a more appropriate and transparent deadline.

“No candidates have been proposed to date on the basis of this possible amendment to the constitution.”

Lithuanian federation threatens legal action and reports issue to UCI Ethics Commission:

Meanwhile the Lithuanian federation has written to the national federations, continental confederations, the UCI management committee and the UCI executive board expressing ‘its utmost concerns’ about the proposed changes.

Firstly, it points out that according to Article 31 of the UCI constitution, that only a national federation is allowed to propose a change to the constitution. As a result, it states that the Malaysian proposal alone can be considered, although it acknowledges that this is identical to the ACC’s request.

It then points out that the UCI itself requested the change to the timeframe, as discussed above, and claims that it is designed to suit one candidate only.

“The ‘transitional clause’ as proposed by the UCI Direction will only serve the interests of the candidate Pat McQuaid,” it writes.

“On a legal point of view, nothing in this case could justify that the modification of Article 51.1 of the UCI as requested by the UCI direction be applied retroactively. As a consequence such request of a ‘transitional clause’ is contrary to the UCI Constitution and applicable law, and for this reasons, shall not be included in the proposed alternation of the Constitution as initially proposed by the National Federation of Malaysia.”

Essentially, it states that the proposal by the Malaysian federation is acceptable if passed and applied from the date of the UCI Congress onwards, but not if it is retrospectively applied.

The Lithuanian federation calls on the national federations and the continental confederations to express their own concerns as to the proposed change.

In addition to that, it said it reserved all rights to take legal action against any decision taken by Congress which ‘does not fully comply with the UCI Constitution or the applicable law.’

It also said that it was reporting the matter to the UCI Ethics Commission so that it can conduct further investigations of its own.

With 41 days to go until the UCI presidential elections, things continue to heat up.

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