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UCI Presidential candidate Brian Cookson
Board of Directors: "Growth in cycling has been on the back of deceit and cheats"
The Board of Directors of Cycling Canada have recently made public a letter stating that they will be supporting Brian Cookson in his bid to become president of the UCI at the UCI congress in Florence, Italy, on September 27.
The Board cited feedback from "concerned Canadian cyclists and key stakeholders" that called for "more transparency and accountability within the governance structure of the UCI" as their primary reason for supporting Cookson.
The Board prefaced their criticisms of McQuaid by acknowledging the positive advances that have been made under his leadership with continued globalisation of the sport and the biological passport as the two main achievements. In fact, the Board was very diplomatic, referring only to "the current leadership" and not singling out McQuaid when voicing their displeasure.
"The current leadership has brought about considerable growth through globalization of cycling with the new UCI pro-tour continental series and the introduction of the biological passport, which was very forward thinking and has aided in cleaning up the sport," the letter stated. "Canada has benefited from this rise in popularity, the globalization of the sport and a cleaner peloton."
"Despite these successes, one realizes that with the pervasive revelations of doping this growth in cycling has been on the back of deceit and cheats," the letter continues. "This has left a dark cloud of uncertainty and scepticism surrounding cycling as a whole, a tarnished public perception, where we have seen parents question bringing their children to the sport and sponsors, supporters and government funding bodies leaving the sport.
"As we look from the current global climate toward the future of our sport, it is as important to stand for openness, transparency, accountability, and honesty as it is to deliver on these high goals. There is a need and a call for leadership change not only to improve the perception of cycling but to improve on governance, stakeholder relations, and further work to advance the fight on doping, among other priorities."
The board stated that they strongly believe that Cookson is best positioned to deliver the changes they see as necessary.
Cycling Canada Board President, John Tolkamp, commented on the letter saying that it was proof that they "have listened to Canadians," and that they are confident that in the hands of Brian Cookson, "cycling has a bright future."