McQuaid comes under fire over election procedures
Rival presidential candidate says request to change process a ‘sign of desperation’
UCI president Pat McQuaid. Photograph: Tim Ireland/PA
British Cycling chairman Brian Cookson has formally objected to an attempt to change the election procedure for the presidency of the International Cycling Union (UCI) and branded the move a “sign of desperation”.
Cookson is challenging current president Pat McQuaid who did not receive the required backing from his own federation Cycling Ireland.
Now however, the UCI’s rulebook is set to be changed to allow candidates to be nominated by two other federations even if they are not supported by their own country.
This would come into force retrospectively allowing McQuaid to stand.
Cookson responded today saying: “The efforts to change the nomination and electoral process announced last night... are a clear sign of desperation from the incumbent president, Pat McQuaid.
“This latest twist appears to be nothing more than a fraught attempt to undemocratically and unconstitutionally impact on the process while it is underway.
“It is no wonder that many in the cycling family as well as fans and sponsors have lost faith in the UCI to govern ethically when the man at the top of the organisation is prepared to embarrass an entire sport in an attempt to try and cling onto power.
“What sort of organisation attempts to rewrite the rules once an election has actually begun – it smacks of attempted dictatorship.”
Cookson has written formally to the UCI’s director general Christophe Hubschmid objecting to the attempts to change the rules.
Mike Plant, the former head of US Cycling and also a UCI management committee member, has also written to Hubschmid to complain.
His letter states: “The timing of this significant change to the presidential nomination process, less than 60 days from a very contested, globally visible and important election is unconscionable, unethical, dishonest, unprofessional, manipulative and destructive.”
The rule change has been put forward by the Malaysian Federation on the basis that it will take effect retrospectively, allowing McQuaid to stand and be nominated by the Thailand, Moroccan and Swiss federations.