• Cycling

Embattled McQuaid loses more support

ESPN staff
August 21, 2013
Pat McQuaid is accused of 'undemocratically and unconstitutionally' interference © Getty Images

Pat McQuaid's bid for a third term as president of the International Cycling Union (UCI) has suffered a blow with the Swiss withdrawing their support for him.

Under previous UCI rules the Irish-born McQuaid needed the support of his home federation. But Ireland refused to back him and so McQuaid initially obtained the backing of the Swiss federation as he had lived in the country since 2005. He is currently only supported by Thailand and Morocco.

Time to get out, Pat

  • Pat McQuaid has been at the helm in a period where cycling has been dragged through the mud and yet he still seems determined to cling on to power however much his continuing presence is detrimental to the sport he runs.

    Whether he is legally in the right or not, the rule changes being proposed by the UCI seem to outsiders to have one purpose - to allow McQuaid to cling to power.

    Cycling is close to emptying the cupboard of its many skeletons. At a time the sport has to show the world - and most importantly commercial sponsors and the media - it is starting again, the continued presence of McQuaid sends out a signal that it is not quite ready to move on.

    For the good of cycling McQuaid has to go. He is clearly not willing to do that quietly which is only further damaging the sport he professes to love

    Martin Williamson

But controversially rule changes have been pushed through to enable McQuaid to stand although these are being challenged.

McQuaid is a deeply divisive figure who has remained at the helm through some of cycling's darkest days. He is being challenged in September's elections by Brian Cookson, the president of British Cycling.

"This leaves McQuaid in a very difficult position, particularly when viewed alongside his failure to receive a nomination from his own national federation as required under the constitution of the UCI," Cookson told the BBC. "It also places further question marks against his other 'nominations' whose validity is in serious doubt and remain a matter of genuine concern to many in the cycling world.

"No attempts at manipulation and legal bluster can take away the doubts and questions."

McQuaid's nomination was scheduled to come before an arbitration board in Zurich on Thursday but that has now been cancelled.

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