Swiss Cycling abandons McQuaid nomination, Irishman’s candidacy for third term as president under question
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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Swiss Cycling abandons McQuaid nomination, Irishman’s candidacy for third term as president under question

by Shane Stokes at 2:39 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
McQuaid will face legal challenge over Moroccan and Thai nominations

Pat McQuaidTwo days before an arbitration tribunal was due to hear a case into Swiss Cycling’s nomination of Pat McQuaid for a third term as UCI President, that federation has decided to drop its support of the Irishman.

While Swiss Cycling is yet to comment publically on the matter, it sent a message to the three member tribunal indicating that it was reversing its nomination and that it no longer wanted to go ahead with the hearing.

VeloNation has received a copy of that message. “After having carefully considered the arguments of the claimants in the arbitration brought against Swiss Cycling’s Decision of 13 May 2013 to nominate Mr. Pat McQuaid for UCI Presidential election, a majority of the Board’s member decided, in light of the legal issues regarding the validity of said Decision and of the general interest of Swiss Cycling, to (i) revoke the Decision of 13 May 2013 and (ii) to withdraw Swiss Cycling’s nomination of Mr. Pat McQuaid for (re)election as UCI President,” it states.

“Swiss Cycling’s head of administration, Mr. Markus Pfisterer, has been instructed to communicate this decision of the Board of Swiss Cycling to the UCI and to seek a settlement with the claimants regarding the termination of the proceedings and the allocation of costs.”

The loss of the backing increases the pressure on McQuaid, who has now lost the support of two national federations.

Cycling Ireland originally nominated him on April 12th, as it had done prior to the last two UCI elections.

However that nomination ran into problems after Cycling Ireland failed to follow correct procedures, and rather than simply voting again, the board of Cycling Ireland bowed to pressure and put the matter to its member clubs to decide.

It said that an extraordinary general meeting on June 15th would determine whether or not McQuaid would be backed.

Sensing danger, McQuaid then joined the Swiss federation in May and received backing of that federation on the 15th of that month.

At the time, Swiss Cycling claimed the backing was unanimous but reports grew that some members of the board were not happy.

VeloNation understands that three members may have sought to have this nomination overturned, but were ultimately unable to do so when a meeting they called did not reach the quorum necessary for any changes to be made.

On June 13th Swiss Cycling confirmed that legal action had been taken by three general members of the federation. Former Swiss national coach Kurt Buergi was joined by former Swiss Cycling board member Mattia Galli, and the ex-pro Patrick Calcagni as co-claimants, along with the clothing company Skins –which had previously made clear its opposition to McQuaid’s re-election. The Irish clubs subsequently ended

Cycling Ireland's consideration of the nomination request when they voted 91-74
against giving him their backing.

Eleven days ago the Swiss publication Neue Zürcher Zeitung stated that several board members had requested that Swiss Cycling’s president Richard Chassot withdraw McQuaid’s nomination. It also said that the federation was troubled by the financial costs of the legal action, particularly if the federation was to lose.

Today’s decision to end that legal action closes the door to McQuaid’s Swiss nomination, and now means that his chances of a third term as president hinge completely on controversial nominations by the Moroccan and Thai federations.

He has claimed that these are permitted under Article 51 of the UCI’s Constitution, which states that ‘the candidates for the presidency shall be nominated by the federation of the candidate,’ with the Irishman claiming that his membership of those federations means they can propose him.

Others argue that Article 51 refer to a candidates ‘home’ federation; McQuaid is from Ireland and lives in Switzerland, thus giving some justification to their nomination of him.

It remains to be seen if he will be successful in arguing that Morocco and Thailand, two countries he has little connection to, are eligible to back him in the required manner.

While a law firm solicited to look at the matter by the UCI, Baker & McKenzie, said today that it considered these nominations to be valid, VeloNation understands that a number of federations are joining in a consortium to launch a legal action against McQuaid.

If he is ultimately successful in his argument that those nominations follow the rules, he will be able to go forward in the electorial clash with Brian Cookson, the only other candidate.

If he is not, Cookson will take over as the next UCI president without the matter having to go to a vote at the UCI Congress.


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