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UCI President Pat McQuaid was on hand to see the riders off
UCI congress to decide on election rule language
The UCI announced today that its Executive Board has unanimously decided to decline a request by USA Cycling and five other federations to allow the Court of Arbitration for Sport to rule on which federation must submit the nomination of an individual for its presidential election.
"The UCI Executive Board, having considered and recognised the UCI Constitution and the Presidential nominations properly submitted under it, has ruled unanimously that it was for the Congress, as the highest authority of the UCI – rather than CAS – to consider all aspects related to the elections," the press release stated.
The nomination of current UCI president Pat McQuaid by Morocco and Thailand came as a result of honorary memberships in those federations, and it has come under question as to whether those nods are legal under the specific language of Article 51.1 of the UCI Constitution, which specifies only that the nomination must come from "the federation of the candidate".
Earlier this week, USA Cycling, the Russian Cycling Federation, the Finnish Cycling Union, and the federations of Algeria, Canada and later Luxembourg supported the CAS appeal.
USA Cycling CEO Steve Johnson, who is also one of nine voting delegates from the Americas in the presidential election, said the language of article 51.1 has been consistently interpreted to refer to the home federation of the candidate, which in McQuaid's case could be Ireland, his native country, or Switzerland, the country in which he resides, but that an impartial ruling on the matter was necessary to ensure a "fair, open and legitimate election".
However, the cycling federations of Ireland and Switzerland rescinded their nominations. There has been a groundswell of opposition to McQuaid continuing on as UCI president after the USADA investigation into doping at the US Postal Service team revealed an unchecked doping culture in the sport under McQuaid's predecessor and mentor, Hein Verbruggen.
The Irishman is facing British Cycling's Brian Cookson in the election on September 27, and according to the UCI press release, McQuaid recused himself from the discussions and decision on the CAS arbitration.