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On the eve of Brian Cookson’s announcement that he would pursue the top spot at cycling’s world governing body, members of Swiss Cycling met to revisit their recent backing of Irishman Pat McQuaid for the role of UCI president.
The meeting was called after several members of Cycling Ireland, including former vice president Anthony Moran, lobbied the Swiss federation with concerns over McQuaid’s right to be nominated by Swiss Cycling and whether its initial statement actually meant he had been officially nominated or not.
The Irish group is angry with Swiss Cycling over its belief that the Swiss contravened article 11.2 of the UCI Constitution, whereby one federation cannot overrule the decision of another federation. Moran and co. contend that the Swiss federation has done this by ignoring Ireland’s upcoming extraordinary general meeting, during which Irish cycling clubs will have the opportunity to vote on the ratification of McQuaid’s nomination.
Cycling Ireland had originally nominated McQuaid, but Moran — the only board member not to back his compatriot in the UCI presidential race, and who has since resigned his position of vice chairman — legally challenged the nomination, as that meeting wasn’t held within Cycling Ireland’s own guidelines.
Cycling Ireland then bowed to public pressure and called an EGM where clubs could decide whether to back McQuaid or not.
The saga looks set to rumble on, however, as only three of the eight-man Swiss board turned up to the meeting last night, deeming the gathering invalid. With two more needed to make quorum and rubber stamp or overturn the decision to back McQuaid, it is unclear whether the rest of the board will convene before the Irish EGM.
Australian businessman and Change Cycling Now founder Jamie Fuller has offered, via Twitter, to fund a legal challenge to Swiss Cycling’s endorsement of McQuaid, saying that his Skins company will “do all the work” if a member of Swiss Cycling would come forward to front the effort.