Former UCI president Pat McQuaid was paid annual salary of €363,000

Irish man’s successor in top job Brian Cookson’s salary to be €275,000

Pat McQuaid: insisted he was paid the going rate as the CEO of a company with a similar amount of employees as the UCI

Pat McQuaid: insisted he was paid the going rate as the CEO of a company with a similar amount of employees as the UCI


Pat McQuaid repeatedly refused requests to disclose his salary when he was president of the UCI, even denying cycling governing body’s own management committee that information.

However his previous remuneration package was revealed yesterday when the UCI stated that, at the time of the UCI election last month, he had been drawing an annual salary of 450,000 Swiss francs, or approximately €363,000 .

The detail emerged as a result of a manifesto promise by the new president Brian Cookson, who defeated McQuaid in the election held on September 27th. The UCI held an extraordinary meeting of its management committee yesterday and there it was agreed that Cookson would receive an annual salary of 110,000 Swiss Francs less than McQuaid, being given approximately €275,000.

It added that this payment would be reviewed annually by the newly-created remuneration committee.

McQuaid’s salary explains in part why the Irish man fought so doggedly to try to hold onto his position in the run-up to the election. His payment well exceeded the €200,000 earned by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny as well as the €250,000 of Angela Merkel – Europe’s highest paid leader.

It’s also slightly more than the current estimated annual salary of John Delaney, the FAI’s chief executive.

McQuaid insisted in the past that what he received was in line with the CEO of a company with a similar amount of employees as the UCI, approximately 90 individuals.

Cookson had made the salary an election issue during his campaign, saying McQuaid’s refusal to reveal what he was paid was proof of what he said was a lack of transparency within the organisation.

The Briton moved on several other election promises yesterday, with the UCI stating that the management committee had agreed the broad principles under which it will move forward and establish a new Independent Commission to look into claims of past wrongdoing within the governing body.

The UCI came under pressure a year ago when the US Anti Doping Agency published its Reasoned Decision in relation to the Lance Armstrong/US Postal Service team investigation.

McQuaid pledged then to appoint an Independent Commission to look into the claims against the organisation, predicting that he, his predecessor Hein Verbruggen and others would be fully cleared of allegations of helping Armstrong evade detection.

However that commission never reached a conclusion, with the UCI closing it down in January.

Cookson stated in his manifesto that he would restart an investigation into the UCI if elected. It emerged last week that minutes after his election, he signed and emailed an order directing the UCI’s employees to provide full cooperation to corporate investigators from the highly-regarded Kroll company.

Agents from Kroll had been waiting outside the UCI’s headquarters in Aigle and moved in almost immediately after he defeated McQuaid. They seized computers, files and documents which will be used in the upcoming investigation; it was also reported they had taken McQuaid’s laptop from his office, although he denied this.

The UCI is now working with WADA and others to finalise the new commission, which will then start sifting through the available data. The BBC reported Lance Armstrong has been approached by the governing body to see if he will consider cooperating with the enquiry.

He had previously resisted similar approaches from USADA, saying that he would only cooperate if he was given a significant reduction on the lifetime ban he was handed last year. McQuaid and Verbruggen have repeatedly denied any collusion with Armstrong and his team.

The UCI also stated yesterday that a full audit of the UCI’s current anti-doping systems and controls would be carried out, with the results of this to be used as the basis for establishing a new and fully independent anti-doping body in 2014.