Swiss Cycling has confirmed that it has withdrawn its nomination of Pat McQuaid as a candidate for the UCI presidential election, due to be held in Florence next month. The Irishman had sought the backing of the Swiss federation after Cycling Ireland voted not to support his bid for re-election earlier this year.
“The managing committee of Swiss cycling has returned to its decision of 13 May 2013 regarding the nomination of Pat McQuaid and decided to withdraw the nomination of Pat McQuaid for his re-election to the presidency of the UCI,” Swiss Cycling announced in a statement on Wednesday morning.
In June, three members of the Swiss federation, Mattia Galli, Patrick Calcagni and Kurt Buergi, launched a legal appeal against the decision to nominate McQuaid after calls for an extraordinary general meeting to discuss the matter went unheeded.
A tribunal was due to hear the case on Thursday but the hearing will not take place in light of the decision to withdraw its nomination. “The arbitration requested by the three members of Swiss Cycling is cancelled as it is not applicable,” read Swiss Cycling’s statement.
Speaking to Cyclingnews on Tuesday, McQuaid had dismissed rumours of the withdrawal of Swiss Cycling’s support as “compete bullshit” and insisted: “I know there's a hearing on Thursday. I've had communication from the Swiss federation and it's going ahead.”
Without nominations from either the Irish or Swiss federations, McQuaid is now reliant on the backing of the federations of Morocco and Thailand, which he claims to have received ahead of the June 30 deadline.
A proposed amendment to the UCI constitution, also to be voted upon in Florence in September, would allow presidential candidates to receive nominations from multiple federations and would see the June 30 deadline retrospectively extended to August 30.
McQuaid’s rival in the election, British Cycling president Brian Cookson, said that the Irishman is “in a very difficult position” following the withdrawal of Swiss Cycling’s backing, and he cast doubts upon the validity of the nominations McQuaid has received from Morocco and Thailand.
“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,” Cookson said.