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Proposed UCI election changes "smack of attempted dictatorship," says Cookson

Cycling News
July 30, 2013, 12:41,
July 30, 2013, 13:41
First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, July 31, 2013
UCI Presidential candidate Brian Cookson

UCI Presidential candidate Brian Cookson

  • UCI Presidential candidate Brian Cookson
  • UCI President Pat McQuaid takes the oath before speaking at the French Senate hearing into anti-doping

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UCI presidential candidate critical of possible alterations to constitution

UCI presidential candidate Brian Cookson has criticised a proposed amendment to the electoral process, decrying it as undemocratic, unconstitutional and “smacking of attempted dictatorship.”

The Malaysian Cycling Federation and the Asian Cycling Confederation have proposed altering article 51 of the UCI Constitution, which states that candidates for the UCI presidency must be nominated by their own federations.

Their proposal is that a candidate should receive the backing of any two federations rather than his/her home federation, a move that would essentially ensure that current incumbent Pat McQuaid is able to run for election in September even though Cycling Ireland refused to endorse his nomination.

“The efforts to change the nomination and electoral process announced last night on behalf of the UCI Director General are a clear sign of desperation from the incumbent President, Pat McQuaid,” Brian Cookson said in a statement released on Tuesday.

"This latest twist appears to be nothing more than a fraught attempt to undemocratically and unconstitutionally impact on the process while it is underway. It is no wonder that many in the cycling family as well as fans and sponsors have lost faith in the UCI to govern ethically when the man at the top of the organisation is prepared to embarrass an entire sport in an attempt to try and cling onto power."

After Cycling Ireland voted against backing McQuaid’s re-election bid, the Irishman instead received his nomination from the federation in Switzerland, where he resides, although that endorsement has been formally challenged by three members and a ruling will be made on August 22.

If the Malaysian motion is passed by the UCI Congress in September, the previous June deadline for the nomination of candidates would be retroactively extended to August 30. It has also been revealed that McQuaid has the support of both the Thai Cycling Association and the Fédération Royale Marocaine de Cyclisme.

“The Constitution is quite clear that candidates should be nominated by their own federation. Pat is shown with the designation (IRL) next to his name but, as is well known, Cycling Ireland withdrew his nomination,” Cookson said. "Now we are also informed by the Director General that Pat has membership of three national federations and four if you include Ireland. How can this be?

"There is certainly no provision in the Constitution, as it now stands, for nomination by more than one federation. This is even more astonishing as I, as a properly nominated candidate, have not been given the opportunity to seek nomination by federations other than my own.”

The original deadline for nominations for the election was June 30, with Cookson and McQuaid the only candidates, and the Briton is critical of the apparent shifting of the goalposts in the middle of the campaign. “What sort of organisation attempts to rewrite the rules once an election has actually begun - it smacks of attempted dictatorship,” he said.

"It seems to me that, at best, all of this is bringing the validity and impartiality of the terms and conditions of the electoral process into serious question. At worst, this is beginning to look like a concerted attempt to manipulate the election in an undemocratic and unconstitutional way.

"I know that other members of the Management Committee share my concerns and this will be expressed directly to the UCI Director General. The fight for a democratic and transparent process is now on and the choice for the voters has never been clearer."

Ripper More than 1 year ago
After reading this article and Mike Plant's response to the same move by the UCI and Patty, I am pretty amazed at just how 'head in the sand' some UCI officials are. And how corrupt McQuaid is.
richwagmn More than 1 year ago
And how desperately he wants to keep his job. He must have no other employment prospects at all.
David Albecker More than 1 year ago
Here is what Mike Plant (former US representative on the UCI management committee) said about these proposed rule changes: "in my opinion, the timing of this significant change to the presidential nomination process, less than 60 days from a very contested, globally visible and important election is unconscionable, unethical, dishonest, unprofessional, manipulative and destructive." I guess that's pretty clear.
Murali Parameswaran More than 1 year ago
funny, the current system of election in UCI is very democratic to some ppl. Perhaps, these politicians need to relearn the basic tenets of democracy one more time.
ridejunkie More than 1 year ago
Scandalous. But we know he is a depraved individual. And what should we say about the outed Federations that support him. Well done to the Irish Federation for telling the scambag [sic] to b*gger off.
DavidConnell More than 1 year ago
I believe the proposed amendment is a very sound one and is beneficial for what is supposed to be an international organisation, giving a meaningful voice to federations on the periphery of the sport. However backdating it and applying it to the upcoming election is an obviously desperate move which takes focus away from the potential good that could come from such a rule change. McQuaid isn't perfect but I believe his public image is immensely worse than facts suggest it should be — he has been in a tough position but managed to bring about some good for the sport. This move (the backdating thing) makes him look absolutely terrible in my eyes.
Silver Bullet More than 1 year ago
the man is a disgrace. honestly what level of disgust can a human have directed at them before they do the remotely honourable thing. Accountability is beyond him. "but I introduced the bio passport". Nice work. now fark off.
DavidConnell More than 1 year ago
The UCI handles a lot more than just doping in men's professional road racing. Cycling is a multi-disciplinary sport that goes far beyond that one area, and there are many aspects of each discipline which require technical, managerial and sporting oversight — this is a huge amount and variety of work for one organization with limited funds, and it is an unenviable job for one person to oversee it all. Many, many people behave (and post comments) as if they are unaware of anything in cycling other than doping in European pro road racing.
Silver Bullet More than 1 year ago
I am well aware of elements in the sport beyond pro road racing, thanks for the tip. But why does it matter what else has been done eleswhere in the sport? Does it matter what else a CEO has done, when he has made the brand of his entire business a joke, a laughing stock due to the CEO's responsibilities in just one part of the business? Especially when it involves corruption and coverups of his own doing? OF COURSE NOT. He/she resigns in disgrace. Straight away. Preserving what dignity they can. not mcQuaid though. unbelievable.
pat jeans More than 1 year ago
The top UCI BOSS is the Director General. Mr Christophe Hubschmid. This is the guy who has the power and authority over all others....Why is his name NEVER mentioned anywhere? The more you look into it, the more you see a mafia type rule going on.
helenawalker More than 1 year ago
If UCI had any cajones they'd have gotten rid of this embarrassment McQuaid years ago. The stench off him is permeating the whole of cycling - change is absolutely essential & relegating McQuaid to the dung heap is imperative.
jabike More than 1 year ago
Embarassment? Maybe in regards to the PED system, but the UCI's umbrella has grown tremendously under his leadership. UCI races on every continent except Antartica, thousands of athletes have bought UCI licenses, continued growth for new UCI events. The problem that most people seem to have with McQuaid strictly is in regards to PEDs, but the people who vote are not going to just look at that aspect of his leadership. He's probably made them a ton of money, I'd reckon. Unfortunately I think that the people actually doing the voting are more than happy to live with the few drug scandals in exchange for the growth that they've had.
biker jk More than 1 year ago
"few drug scandals"! You've got to be kidding.
egtalbot More than 1 year ago
"few drug scandals" = "Aside from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?"
richwagmn More than 1 year ago
Part of this is probably Pat's fear that Cookson would expose the dirty laundry that Pat has hidden for years. Expect there to be a purge of information if Pat loses.
fruit bars with eyes More than 1 year ago
reads like Cookson wants to be unapposed? I'd prefer he simply welcome an open debate and vote and the chance to drive a bus through Pat's presidency, than try and settle it all through non-nominations, amendments, etc.
GuyIncognito More than 1 year ago
According to Katusha's Makarov, he'll expose the dirty laundy that Pat has hidden if he wins, too. So it'll come out either way
Mark Young More than 1 year ago
I know I will get slammed for saying this, but who cares. This sounds amazingly like what is going on in the US (recently Texas), where the US Gov't wants to overturn Texas' voting laws and its districting laws.
thehog More than 1 year ago
Correct. It's appalling. And there's bigger issues in New York City where a guy who's texts his d1ck to unknown women on the Internet is shooting for mayors job.
Jens Verner Tranbjerg More than 1 year ago
Since this is a site for cycling I guess many cares. And who cares about what's going on in the US anyways?
anatomy34 More than 1 year ago
McQuaid will not lie down or go quietly. We need someone strong to take him on.
JURE71 More than 1 year ago
We have - he's called Cookson and so far looks to have the only valid nomination.
stravaface More than 1 year ago
The fish rots from the head -- and has done so for some time at the UCI. Time to give Pat the ole heave-ho.