McQuaid steps down from IOC host city panel

UCI president steps down from commission analyzing Olympic host proposals claiming schedule conflicts

LAUSANNE (AFP) — Embattled cycling chief Pat McQuaid stepped down from the International Olympic Committee body evaluating candidate cities for the 2020 Olympics on Wednesday.

International Cycling Union (UCI) president McQuaid said he was unable to join his colleagues evaluating Tokyo, Madrid and Istanbul — the three cities bidding to host the 2020 Games — in March.

The Irishman will be replaced by Patrick Baumann, the secretary general of FIBA, the international basketball federation.

“Pat McQuaid has decided to step down from the IOC Evaluation Commission as he was unable to attend the three visits to the candidate cities in March,” read a statement released by the IOC. “He has been replaced by FIBA secretary general and IOC member Patrick Baumann.”

The UCI has been fighting a rearguard action in the aftermath of the Lance Armstrong scandal.

The American, who was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life after being accused of widespread and systematic doping, last week finally confessed to using drugs to fuel his victories.

But the UCI has been accused of turning a blind eye to Armstrong’s cheating during his Tour de France wins between 1999 and 2005 when the international cycling body was under the control of Dutchman Hein Verbruggen, also a member of the IOC.

Last week, Verbruggen told the ANP news agency that “nothing was ever covered up. The UCI has always fought against doping.”