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Cycling Australia to back Cookson in UCI presidential race

Cycling News
August 26, 2013, 05:36,
August 26, 2013, 06:36
Second Edition Cycling News, Monday, August 26, 2013
Cadel Evans with Gerry Ryan and Klaus Mueller

Cadel Evans with Gerry Ryan and Klaus Mueller

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Re-election of McQuaid unanimously rejected

Cycling Australia (CA) will not vote to re-elect incumbent UCI president Pat McQuaid. Cycling Australia cemented its position following an address from Cookson during his visit to Australia over the weekend which coincided with a CA board meeting.

Outgoing Cycling Australia president, Klaus Mueller, said the decision was unanimous.

"We are supporting Cookson. It was unanimous with all [CA] board members present," Mueller told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Although partly complimentary of current president Pat McQuaid, Mueller believed his handling of the United States Anti-Doping Agency investigation into Lance Armstrong and his associates was inadequate.

"CA has enjoyed a very good relationship with Pat over the years and we recognise the significant work he has done to help globalise the sport and address the doping culture that besieged professional men’s road cycling.

"However, the inadequate response in dealing with the fallout from the Armstrong affair and subsequent allegations brought against the UCI has emphasised a need for leadership change to allow the sport to move on and realise its enormous potential," added Mueller.

Mueller highlighted three specific issues that swayed the 10 out of 11 CA board members present over the weekend.

"We felt [Cookson] was in a better position to restore the reputation and integrity of the UCI and the sport internationally," said Mueller. "Also he agreed he would do everything in his power to improve the governance structures, to make those more accountable and efficient and reflect what a modern sporting body should look like."

Mueller stated that CA are advocates for a changed governance structure within the UCI that would emphasise the separation of policy creation and policy implementation.

"We think the system of having the president also performing an executive role is a flawed system," said Mueller. "There ought to be a president and board to provide the policy framework. And there out to be a separate executive administering that framework.

"Pat [McQuaid] did not agree, [he] didn't consider that sort of reform appropriate; whereas Brian Cookson was of the view that there needs to be that change,” Mueller explained. "Like all bodies, whether he can get that through is another challenge, but at least he is committed to doing his utmost to implement those changes."

Mueller added that the final straw for CA was the last minute changes in electoral process by proposed by McQuaid.

"Even if those changes are legal it is entirely unsatisfactory in any democratic process and it lacks openness, transparency and integrity. CA will not be supporting this motion at the UCI General Congress."

When the UCI presidency is voted upon at the UCI congress next month, three of the 42 votes will come from the Oceania region. Australia hold one vote with New Zealand and Fiji holding the other two. Whether or not Australia’s Oceania counterparts share the same support for Cookson with their respective votes is something that Mueller cannot confirm, but remains optimistic of.

"Yes ... they can speak for themselves and they will ultimately. But I am confident in the discussions we had that [CA's position] will be the unanimous position of Oceania."

Pomroadie More than 1 year ago
I hope that NZ and Fiji follow CA's lead, McQuaid has to go, the sooner the better. And then crack on with major reform to restore the UCI's credibility. Cookson is someone with integrity and encouraging full transparency within UCI processes. With any luck there will be a major investigation into the UCI's recent past over say the last 25 years and if certain individuals can be found to have assisted sporting fraud then they might just get what they really deserve.
Reg Oakley More than 1 year ago
Not so sure dealing with the past in the manner you describe will do anything usefull. Hopefully, if Cookson does become president he will concentrate his and others energies into moving forward without the errors of the past.
wee westy More than 1 year ago
Its astonishing to see that from a McQuaid supporter, absolutely ridiculous. Its eactly what the rest of us, the great majority judging from reactions here and on any forum you care to mention (watch your unlike list swell), think about PMQ. And the fact that so many influential people (and now the Australian Federation) not only support Brian Cookson but are willing to say so speaks volumes. Can you direct me to any similar expressions of support for PMQ?
Alpe73 More than 1 year ago
This forum, or any other you care to mention, represent only a few bawbies worth of fans world wide who have an opinion on this matter and other matters pertaining to cycling. "Unlikes" .... who gives a fiddler's fe -- ck, man? Get a grip, man.
wee westy More than 1 year ago
Very true - I don't know why I bother to post really. I just get so annoyed with the UCI, and with PMQ. Unfortunately those who race world wide at amateur level, or even professional, have very little influence, except through their federations. Well, at least this one, CA, has the same opinion as I do, and I just hope that enough others feel the same.
Papparrazzi More than 1 year ago
So will other nations be announcing their votes also? Or will some keep their intentions secret up to the ballot? Is it a 'secret ballot' or will the votes be identifiable by nation?