UCI president Pat McQuaid seeks Cycling Ireland nomination for third term as UCI president
Dubliner has had a tough final year in his second four-year term, with fallout from Lance Armstrong affair putting him and the UCI under pressure.
International Cycling Union (UCI) president Pat McQuaid declined to comment this week. Photograph: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images
With a crucial Cycling Ireland meeting set to take place tomorrow evening in Dublin, UCI president Pat McQuaid is preparing to meet the board members who will decide whether CI will nominate him for what would be a third term at the top of cycling’s governing body.
McQuaid will speak to those members prior to their vote on the matter, and will hope to convince them that he warrants backing in the matter.
If successful, he will face an international vote in September. He has had a tough final year in his second four-year term, with the fallout from the Lance Armstrong affair putting him and the UCI under pressure. At least two of Armstrong’s former team-mates have said the Texan told them he was positive for EPO in the 2001 Tour de Suisse, but that the UCI would take care of the situation and that he wouldn’t face repercussions.
McQuaid and the governing body have firmly rejected these claims, saying the test results in question were suspicious but not enough to lead to sanctions. And while the UCI has admitted it did accept two large donations from Armstrong, it has denied suggestions these were bribes. Under fire after the publication of the US Anti Doping Agency’s reasoned decision last October, McQuaid said then the UCI would back an Independent Commission, allowing it to fully and objectively examine the governing body and its actions in relation to Armstrong and others.
However, the UCI subsequently shelved the commission in January. While it said it may consider a truth and reconciliation commission instead, this would not take place prior to the UCI presidential elections in September.
Jaimie Fuller, who has been one of those most vocal in opposing a third term for McQuaid, told The Irish Times he felt there were too many questions left unanswered. He was a key member of the Change Cycling Now pressure group which was set up late last year and which called for widespread changes within the UCI, including a new president.
Fuller has laid out a five-point plan that he believes is necessary to bring about reform. He has called for changes to the role of president and the executive structure, saying greater transparency and wider distribution of power in decision-making is needed.
He also wants the honorary president’s role to be dropped, saying that the person in that position, former UCI head Hein Verbruggen, is compromised by his past denials that doping was a big issue in the sport.
“His removal from emeritus office is crucial to the UCI’s success in restoring global credibility and showing the world that the UCI is focused on cultural change,” Fuller argues.
In addition, he calls for an anti-doping process that is fully independent of the UCI, for an objective truth and reconciliation structure and for an overhaul of women’s pro cycling.
McQuaid declined to speak to The Irish Times . If CI doesn’t endorse his candidature, McQuaid can ask for a nomination from the Swiss federation as he lives in Switzerland.