By Shane Stokes
UCI President Pat McQuaid is to visit the Tour de Langkawi this weekend and will use some of that time to talk to the Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) and other parties about the monies owed by the event.
The 2005 and 2006 editions of the race saw a large debt accumulated and some creditors are still awaiting payment of what is owed to them. Reports from Malaysia this week said that previous organisers First Cartel had been served with a winding up order, and that considerable debts remain.
"I am heading out to Malaysia at the weekend," McQuaid confirmed to Cyclingnews on Tuesday morning. "The MNCF have invited me out to the race so I'm going out there for two days. I will be looking at the financial end of things; I and the UCI have been given commitments by them in relation to the financial aspects of the race, relating to the past two years, and I will be discussing that with them and ensuring that commitments given are met."
Following government action and a commitment of funding to help secure the future of the event, the MNCF have taken over from First Cartel as organisers of the 2.HC ranked race. However this has meant that they have also become liable to repay some – but not all - of the creditors. "They will be dealing with the race-related debts only," he confirmed. "This includes things like television coverage. Any of the race-related debts would be covered under the UCI rules, but we wouldn't have authority over some of the broader stuff that is owed. It depends on what creditors they are and it depends on who exactly is covered under the UCI rules and who wouldn't be."
According to an article in the New Straits Times printed this week, Malaysian law states that upon the winding up of the company, all its affairs including creditors are taken over by an appointed liquidator. In this case the newspaper says the Official Receiver of Malaysia is the relevant party.
McQuaid says that the UCI is currently determining who exactly is responsible for what. "Our lawyers are checking it out as to the exact authority, whether it is the UCI or the national authority which takes precedence there. That is something that I will know before I go out.
"Part of the trip is to deal with all that stuff. I want to sit down with them and ensure that, hopefully, the race can have a solid future and that the MNCF are determined to develop the event and to continue it. It is a very important race on the Asian calendar."