Embattled UCI President Pat McQuaid’s only rival in the upcoming election for the office, Brian Cookson, has launched a stinging attack on the Irishman after it emerged that rules which could aid McQuaid’s election bid may be changed in September and backdated to the current period.
Cookson, the president of British Cycling, has also revealed he has written to the UCI’s director general to complain about a proposal put forward by the Malaysian cycling federation. If adopted, the mooted change would enable any two cycling federations to come together to nominate a candidate to contest a UCI presidential election. At present, a nomination to run from the office can only come from a would-be candidate’s home federation or the national cycling body where they reside. However, McQuaid has been rejected at an EGM of his home federation Cycling Ireland less than two months ago and while he has secured a nomination from Swiss Cycling, that is open to legal challenge.
It has since emerged he has the backing of the Thai and Moroccan cycling federations and that they will nominate him if the Malaysian proposal is passed. That will be voted on at the UCI’s congress in Italy in September, where the presidential vote will be decided.
“No one has changed the rules. No one has broken the rules,” McQuaid said last night. “I have received enormous support from federations around the world urging me to stand for reelection and expressing hope that I will continue on as UCI president. These nominations are a testament to that.
“Morocco, for example, is now African’s number one cycling nation qualifying riders for the UCI World Championships and the Olympic Games. I have witnessed the growth of cycling in Morocco on my many visits there since becoming UCI president in 2005 and my membership of that federation goes back to early 2009.
“There was nothing stopping Brian Cookson from showing an interest in cycling around the world over the years by joining other federations that would have allowed him to secure additional nominations when he decided to stand for president.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved