Pat McQuaid’s bid for a third term as president of the International Cycling Union has suffered a further setback after Swiss Cycling confirmed it has withdrawn its nomination of him.
The Irishman, a Swiss resident since being appointed UCI president in 2005, failed to win the backing of Cycling Ireland and sought a nomination from Swiss Cycling instead.
The nomination was scheduled to come before an arbitration board in Zurich on Thursday, with McQuaid confident of success, but now that process has been cancelled.
A statement from Swiss Cycling read: “The director of the Swiss Cycling committee returned to the decision of May 13, 2013 concerning the appointment of Pat McQuaid and yesterday decided to withdraw the nomination of Pat McQuaid for his re-election as president of the UCI.
“Consequently, the arbitration requested by the three members of Swiss Cycling is cancelled, since there is no reason.”
McQuaid believes the action against him in Switzerland was instigated by Jaimie Fuller, owner of sportswear firm Skins, who funded the Change Cycling Now pressure group and, according to the UCI president, has commercial motives for his actions.
Speaking prior to Swiss Cycling’s announcement on Wednesday, McQuaid, who described his lack of backing from Cycling Ireland as “unfortunate”, said: “He (Fuller) actually canvassed Switzerland, looking for three Swiss Cycling members that he would fund and he would pay for to bring this process against Swiss Cycling and their decision to support me.”
Fuller was among the first to react to the decision.
“This should finally signal an end to Mr McQuaid’s quest for re-election,” Fuller said in a statement.
“Mr McQuaid should now accept that the writing is on the wall and stop this ridiculous charade.
“His latest stunt of attempting to introduce retrospective changes to the UCI constitution reflect a man who is both delusional and despotic; his arrogance knows no bounds.
“His fellow countrymen in Ireland had second thoughts when they withdrew their endorsement and now the Swiss have done the same.
”I would hope that, by now, Mr McQuaid is getting the message.“
McQuaid is being challenged for the presidency by Brian Cookson, the British Cycling president since 1996.
Yet the presidential battle may not now reach a vote in Florence next month, as McQuaid appears to require a change to legislation to be eligible.
The amendment allowed McQuaid to be nominated by the Thai and Moroccan federations and was proposed by the Malaysian federation and the Asian confederation, but its use in the current presidential race could be determined by lawyers.