Pat McQuaid faces crucial Cycling Ireland vote as clubs decide whether federation should nominate him for re- election as UCI president

McQuaid effectively sought to sidestep process

International Cycling Union (UCI) president Pat McQuaid  faces a crucial vote.

International Cycling Union (UCI) president Pat McQuaid faces a crucial vote.

Fri, Jun 14, 2013, 01:00

Pat McQuaid faces a crucial vote tomorrow when Cycling Ireland’s clubs decide whether the federation should nominate him to stand again for election as UCI president.

On April 26th CI acknowledged procedural errors had taken place in relation to its decision taken on April 12th to nominate him; rather than simply voting again, it acknowledged pressure within Ireland to put the matter to a club vote, and called an egm, to be held in the Red Cow hotel in Dublin at 11 am, when the delegates will give CI directions as to what it should do.

McQuaid effectively sought to sidestep this process when, after the April 26th egm declaration, he sought nomination from Swiss Cycling, the federation of the country where he lives. An appeal against this was launched this week by three Swiss members and this has raised questions about whether that nomination will be ruled valid thus the Irish egm is of great importance.

McQuaid sent an email to some CI members this week and also gave his thoughts in a statement sent to the Sticky Bottle website. “I will continue to stand up for cycling,” he wrote. “I have dedicated my life to cycling and it is my intention to continue to advance the sport through my role as an elected member of the International Olympic Committee, the ASOIF, and, as I hope, the ongoing UCI President.”

He criticised unnamed people who he referred to as “a small group of activists who have been manipulated by commercial interests,” claiming they had “sought to mislead and convince anyone who will listen that this is a defining moment in my election campaign”.

Dr Conor McGrane, one of those most vocal in calling for the egm, said he took issue with the dismissal of those who have concerns. “I was quite insulted to read that,” he told The Irish Times. “I have been seeking an egm for about a year now over my concerns with the way the sport was being governed; this was long before any companies in cycling called for change.”

McGrane, who is the doctor for Cycling Ireland, has said a major concern for him is that he believes some young riders are still not adequately protected from pressure to dope.

Meanwhile, triple Tour de France winner Greg LeMond said yesterday he believed it was time for the sport to be governed by someone else. “It needs a fresh start,” he told The Irish Times. “It’s time to turn the page on all the controversy that happened before, including the Lance Armstrong affair. I’d like to see someone new take over. The sport needs fresh ideas and the symbol of a new person at the top.”

LeMond added if a new president is elected, he hoped there will be a period of reflection, the establishment of an independent anti-doping body to handle the sport’s tests, and a rebuilding of relations with the World Anti Doping Agency and others.

After giving coaching advice at the Base2Race shop in Dublin yesterday, the double world champion will speak about his career tonight in a public interview at the Lime Tree Theatre in Limerick. Proceeds will go to the Get BACk Challenge charity, as will the money raised from tomorrow’s bike rides with him in Kilkee, Co Clare.