McQuaid insists he’ll fight on, says rescinding of Swiss Cycling nomination was a ‘snap decision’
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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

McQuaid insists he’ll fight on, says rescinding of Swiss Cycling nomination was a ‘snap decision’

by Shane Stokes at 1:15 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Irishman says that Congress vote rather than legal cases will ultimately decide if he has a third term

Pat McQuaidUnder pressure after Swiss Cycling today announced that it was rescinding its backing of him, UCI President Pat McQuaid has insisted that he will continue to fight on, and has accused his opponent Brian Cookson plus his supporters of trying to subvert democracy.

“This election will be decided by the voting delegates at the UCI Congress in Florence, Italy on September 27th despite attempts by him [Cookson] and those who support his campaign to eliminate me from the contest,” said McQuaid in a statement.

McQuaid’s candidacy has question marks over it after the two federations he first sought backing from, Cycling Ireland and Swiss Cycling, both decided to drop their nominations of him.

Cycling Ireland had backed him on April 12th but, after it became clear that procedural errors had been made, the federation decided to let its member clubs decide at an extraordinary general meeting.

They duly did so on June 15th, voting 91-74 not to support McQuaid.

Having anticipated problems, McQuaid joined Swiss Cycling in May, requested their backing while saying he was eligible to seek it as he lived there, and then got the nod on May 13th. The federation confirmed that support in an announcement two days later.

However three general members of the federation launched a legal challenge, supported by the clothing firm Skins. That arbitration hearing was due to be held tomorrow but yesterday evening it emerged that the board had written to the tribunal panel and indicated the nomination was being abandoned.

The statement to that panel said that “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.”

Swiss Cycling then confirmed that today in a press release.

McQuaid appeared not to know the situation yesterday evening, denying media reports that it was the case, but today has been forced to admit that he has lost the backing.

Commenting on the matter, he said that he had “respected and adhered to the UCI rules at all times” and accused his opponents of trying to mire the election in legal cases and legal argument in an attempt to discredit and overthrow him.

“This was apparently a snap decision in the face of mounting pressure from the company who financed the challenge to my Swiss nomination and whose actions threatened to condemn the Swiss Cycling Federation to financial ruin had it proceeded to an arbitration hearing and lost,” he said.

Although there is some debate about whether the two remaining nominations he has claimed are indeed valid, due to one interpretation of Article 51 of the UCI Constitution as saying that a candidate’s own federation [ie home federation] should be the one to nominate them, McQuaid insists that they are proper.

“My other nominations from the Thai Cycling Association and the Féderation Royal Marocanine are valid and were all received in accordance with the UCI rules by the designated closing date,” he said.

VeloNation understands that a consortium of national federations are considering a legal challenge over McQuaid’s claim that Morocco and Thailand, two federations he has little connection to, can nominate him under the current rules.

He insisted that he would press on and that he would be eligible to stand in the election on September 27th.

“I would remind Brian Cookson and his campaign supporters that the UCI Congress will ultimately decide who should lead the UCI for the next four years,” he said.

“Federations all over the world want me to stand for re-election. I am standing as a candidate for re-election. That is not going to change. I am calling on Brian Cookson and his campaign supporters to accept that and to put an end to their concerted attempts to refuse the Congress a choice between two candidates.”


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