Pat McQuaid outlines reform plans for cycling
UCI elections will take place in Italy in late September
UCI president Pat McQuaid emphasised his commitment to the fight against doping at the launch of his manifesto for re-election.
UCI president Pat McQuaid yesterday outlined a long list of reforms that he will carry out if re-elected to the role in September, saying that he had identified four key areas that were essential to be tackled.
The Irishman, who was elected president in 2005 and then earned a second term four years later, said that preserving what he referred to as the new culture and era of clean cycling was the number one priority. He asserted that the sport had become demonstrably cleaner since he came to power, and said that much of that was down to the work he had done.
While the UCI closed down the independent commission it had set up last autumn to audit its conduct during the Lance Armstrong years, McQuaid said yesterday that the governing body would set up a new independent process to carry out that work.
However, it is clear that this will not be done before the presidential elections. In addition, in limiting the terms to the years when Lance Armstrong was winning the Tour de France – namely, 1999 to 2005 – McQuaid has effectively ensured that the period since he became president would not be covered, and neither would Armstrong’s alleged drug taking in 2008 and 2009. The other three priorities listed in his manifesto yesterday are to ensure equality in the sport by developing women’s cycling, to modernise the way the sport is presented through reforms of the races, structure and technology, and to foster the global development of cycling.
However, he was criticised by his sole opponent for the presidential role, Brian Cookson, who said that lingering question marks over the sport’s credibility and a damaged public perception meant that a clear break with the past was needed. “It is my belief and that of many others that we need a complete change of leadership in order to successfully achieve this,” Cookson argued.
McQuaid was himself dismissive of Cookson’s own manifesto when it was unveiled on June 24th. The UCI elections will take place in Italy in late September.