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UCI President Pat McQuaid was on hand to see the riders off
Five federations ask UCI "to forego the spectre of any post-election litigation"
The cycling federations of the USA, Russia, Canada, Algeria and Finland have written to UCI president Pat McQuaid requesting that the Court of Arbitration for Sport rules on the validity of his nomination for re-election in advance of the election, which takes place at the UCI congress in Florence later this month.
McQuaid’s bid for a third term as president suffered twin blows when both Cycling Ireland, his home federation, and Swiss Cycling, the federation of his country of residence, opted not to back his candidacy, but the Irishman is attempting to stand for election on the back of nominations from the Moroccan and Thai federations.
However, these nominations will only be valid if an amendment to article 51 of the UCI Constitution proposed by the Asian Cycling Confederation and the Malaysian federation is passed at UCI congress. The proposed amendment would allow a candidate to be nominated by multiple federations instead of by his home federation.
The only other candidate for election is British Cycling president Brian Cookson, and he would run unopposed if the amendment to article 51 is not passed at UCI congress.
USA Cycling and the federations of Russia, Canada, Algeria and Finland have called for a resolution to the impasse to be reached before delegates convene in Florence, proposing that CAS make a binding ruling on the matter in advance of the election.
“At this point, USA Cycling and many other federations believe the answer is neither to sweep all the procedural challenges under the carpet nor to leave these questions open, but rather to obtain a final, incontestable decision in advance of the elections as to whether Article 51.1 allows more than one country to nominate a candidate,” read a statement from USA Cycling president Steve Johnson.
“To that end, we and several other national cycling federations (Russia, Canada, Finland, and Algeria) have proposed that the UCI agree to binding arbitration before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) for a definitive and binding ruling on Article 51.1’s application.”
The five federations’ letters, addressed to McQuaid and UCI director general Christophe Hubschmid, call on McQuaid to “demonstrate his allegiance to the UCI Constitution” by agreeing “to forego the spectre of any post-election litigation over Article 51.1 for the certainty of a pre-election, binding decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.”