Five national federations, including USA Cycling, have asked cycling’s world governing body, the UCI, to forward a question over its presidential election protocol to the Court of Arbitration of Sport. The federations, in five separate letters, informed UCI president Pat McQuaid on Monday that they would forgo legal challenge of the forthcoming election, should CAS rule on a question regarding the requirements for candidates to stand.

With the election set for September 27 in Florence, Italy, the U.S., Russian, Canadian, Finnish, and Algerian federations have asked for clarity over language in the UCI Constitution concerning the nominating federation of presidential candidates:

What is not before Congress — and what remains a substantial question — is the meaning of UCI’s Constitutional mandate concerning the nomination of candidates. Article 51.1 requires that any Presidential candidate be supported by a nomination from “the federation of the candidate.” Some read that provision as allowing an individual to be nominated by any federation of which the candidate is a member, regardless of the length of the candidate’s membership, his participation in the affairs of the federation, or his residence in the country in which the federation operates. Others believe that Article 51.1 unambiguously allows a nomination from only one federation, the federation, of the candidate.

Specifically, the federations requested that the UCI ask CAS to decide the requirements for presidential nominees: “Under Article 51.1 of the UCI Constitution, which federation(s) may submit a valid nomination for a prospective candidate for Office of President of UCI?”

Read the full USA Cycling letter >>

McQuaid is locked in a controversial election campaign with British Cycling boss Brian Cookson. McQuaid has lost the support of his home federation in Ireland as well as Swiss Cycling, which backed him in May before revoking that support in August. In late July, the Asian confederation proposed a rule change that would allow candidates to run with the support of any two federations in the world. The Moroccan and Malaysian federation registered their support for McQuaid; the UCI scheduled a vote on the Asian amendment for the September 27 Congress and if approved, the rule change would retroactively govern the current election.

“I can totally understand the desire by a number of National Federations to seek clarity on the UCI Constitution in relation to the nominating procedure and how this applies to the current Presidential election,” Cookson said in a statement on Monday. “Given the nature of the controversy it does make sense to have this matter adjudicated by CAS so that we can have a sound and fair election that is also genuinely robust.”