Harald Tiedemann Hansen, president of Norwegian cycling and vice president of the European Cycling Union (UEC), believes that the current controversy surrounding allegations of corruption by UCI president Pat McQuaid is doing nothing for the sport.
Tiedemann Hansen is critical of the campaign being run by McQuaid and candidate Brian Cookson, saying that more time has been spent talking about each other's faults rather than what can be done to improve cycling.
"What puzzles me a bit is that he [McQuaid] must have known that this was going to happen," Tiedemann Hansen told procycling.no following the release of a summary report of alleged corruption. "Why has he not resigned long ago? Why is it that he fights so incredibly fierce? Had he resigned some time ago, people might not spent so much energy trying to get this to light."
Tiedemann Hansen was in Norway for the last UCI Management Committee meeting, however was not present when the dossier on McQuaid was provided to delegates.
"If there is truth in any of this, it is obviously very serious," he said. "I believe however that it is published evidence. It is not enough to make a number of accusations without finding out if this is true or not. The evidence, if any exists, must be submitted to the UCI ethics commission. It amazes me that it has not been done already. If you are not satisfied with the conclusion from there, you can then take the case to outside agencies."
The UEC meets this weekend for an extraordinary congress where both McQuaid and Cookson will present their case for the upcoming election for UCI president.
"I expect that there will be much debate around McQuaid and these accusations," explained Tiedemann Hansen. "I'm reasonably sure he's going to need a sledge-hammer to defend himself against all that."
McQuaid has described details of the leaked summary of the report as "complete fabrication. They are totally untrue and are not supported by a scintilla of evidence."
"This is a scurrilous and libelous attack on my character, with a political agenda that is both nakedly transparent and totally contemptible - and unfortunately one that is completely in character with the tactics of my opponents."
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