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Swiss Cycling boss quits over McQuaid controversy

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AFP) — The president of the Swiss Cycling Federation, Richard Chassot, resigned on Thursday, a day after the organization withdrew its support for UCI president Pat McQuaid’s reelection bid.

Irishman McQuaid was relying on Swiss Cycling’s support as he tries for a third term atop cycling’s world governing body, but the withdrawal of the Swiss nomination leaves him needing a change to the international federation’s statutes to enable him to stand for the presidency.

That decision, made Wednesday, has left divisions within Swiss Cycling that provoked Chassot’s decision.

“Richard Chassot handed in his resignation from the presidency of Swiss Cycling with immediate effect,” said the federation in a statement, adding that the decision was related “to the differences within the board of directors about the nomination of Pat McQuaid.”

McQuaid was relying on the Swiss nomination, having already seen his homeland previously withdraw its backing for his candidacy.

According to UCI statutes, a candidate must be supported by a federation if which he or she is a member.

After the Irish withdrew its backing, McQuaid turned to the Swiss federation, which qualified him for candidacy on the grounds of his residency in Switzerland, where the UCI is headquartered. Velonation.com reported earlier in August that McQuaid only became a member of the Swiss federation in May 2013.

In order to stand against British Cycling president Richard Coockson at the September 27 election in Florence, Italy, McQuaid will need the UCI to change its rules.

He has the support of the Thai and Moroccan federations while the Malaysian federation has proposed an amendment to the current statutes that would allow a candidate to stand as long as he had the backing of any two federations. This amendment is scheduled for a vote at the road world championships in Florence and would be retroactively applied to allow McQuaid to contest the election.

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