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Proposed change "an attempt to change the rules during the game"...

British Cycling president Brian Cookson has attacked incumbent UCI president Pat McQuaid over an attempt to change the rules governing the nomination of candidates for the top job at the UCI, world cycling’s governing body.

Cookson, who is standing against McQuaid in the UCI presidential election scheduled for September 27, said: “The efforts to change the nomination and electoral process announced last night on behalf of the UCI director general are a clear sign of desperation from the incumbent President, Pat McQuaid.

“This latest twist appears to be nothing more than a fraught attempt to undemocratically and unconstitutionally impact on the process while it is underway.

McQuaid seeks nomination

McQuaid secured a nomination from the Swiss cycling federation after his own home federation, Ireland, voted not to nominate him. That nomination is being challenged in the Swiss courts. The UCI insists this is permitted, but three Swiss Cycling members, Swiss national coach Kurt Buergi, former Swiss Cycling board member Mattia Galli and ex-pro Patrick Calcagni have filed a complaint which will be heard on August 22.

If their complaint is upheld, then McQuaid’s only hope of nomination is the proposed rule change, which will allow any two federations to nominate a presidential candidate and which will be applied retrospectively if it is accepted at the UCI Congress on September 27.

The rule change

The change was explained to UCI Congress members in a letter yesterday from Christophe Hubschmid, director general of the UCI management committee. In that letter, Hubschmid said: “The Malaysian Federation and Asian Continental Confederation state that their aim is to reinforce the independence of future UCI presidents by ensuring they are able to carry out the role based on serving the global interests of cycling, independently from those of any single nominating national federation.”

A press release from the UCI explained:

“As national federations are being informed about this proposal after the original deadline to nominate presidential candidates has passed, as a transitional provision, for the 2013 Presidential elections only, the new amendment also proposes to allow any two national federations to put forward candidates from now until a deadline of Friday 30 August 2013 at 12:00 CEST. These nominations will then become valid if the motion is subsequently approved at Congress.”

Cookson astonished

Brian Cookson expressed astonishment at this development, saying: “It is surely completely out of order to allow a proposal to change an electoral procedure once that procedure is underway. These proposals should never have been permitted onto the agenda.

“In addition to this, which I can only describe as an attempt to change the rules during the game, I note with astonishment that Pat McQuaid is now shown on the election papers as being nominated by three federations.

“The Constitution is quite clear that candidates should be nominated by their own federation. Pat is shown with the designation (IRL) next to his name but, as is well known, Cycling Ireland withdrew his nomination.”

“I have asked the Director General how and why has Pat been given this opportunity?

“It now also appears that any two national federations are to be allowed to make further nominations for the presidency before a new deadline of 30th August, even though under the provisions of the UCI constitution nominations actually closed on 30th June. What sort of organisation attempts to rewrite the rules once an election has actually begun - it smacks of attempted dictatorship.”

Abuse of power

The Swiss case against McQuaid’s nomination is being sponsored by the compression clothing company Skins, whose chairman Jaimie Fuller founded reform group Change Cycling Now and has been one of the most vocal critics of McQuaid and the previous actions of the UCI.

Fuller is not impressed by the attempt to change the UCI rules.

“The latest actions from UCI president Pat McQuaid are those of a desperate man trying to hold onto his dwindling power base,” he said. “This abuse of process and power are unheard of in sports administration circles and his tactics most resemble those of Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe.”

UCI management committee member Mike Plant said he believes that with the intense scrutiny the UCI is currently under, this rule change would further undermine the organisation’s standing.

UCI credibility further destroyed

In a letter to Christophe Hubschmid, Plant wrote: “The timing of this significant change to the Presidential nomination process, less than 60 days from a very contested, globally visible and important election is unconscionable, unethical, dishonest, unprofessional, manipulative and destructive.”

Plant pointed out the level of interest in this election and went on: “Now we are going to change the rules at the 11th hour before this historic election? Does anyone really think the vast majority of our stakeholders, constituencies, fans, media, etc. are going to accept this as a small administrative governance change?

“One month ago, we received the results of the stakeholder study.  Over 7,000 respondents overwhelmingly told us that we must restore the credibility in the UCI and its leadership. For the life of me, I cannot see how making this significant change to the nomination process, on the morning of the election will do anything less than further destroy the current reputation and credibility of how this organisation is currently being governed and managed.”

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

32 comments

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sean1 [177 posts] 3 years ago
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I really hope Brian Cookson wins.....

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The Rumpo Kid [589 posts] 3 years ago
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It looks like Pat's Lawyers have told him that the Swiss nomination may prove to be unconstitutional. I dread to think what the future of Cycle Sport will look like if this man remains in charge. More scandals, less sponsorship, and possibly kicked out of the Olympics.

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bellevedere [19 posts] 3 years ago
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The idea that a number of federations can join together to nominate a candidate isn't that stupid. What's annoying is the changing the rules of an election mid way through. Changes should be made in a non-elction period and not be backdateable.

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md6 [181 posts] 3 years ago
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desperate measures from a beaten dictator...

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SevenHills [216 posts] 3 years ago
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For the sake of cycling Cookson has to win!  2

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bikeandy61 [538 posts] 3 years ago
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Deeply flawed group of politicians (are there any other kind these days?).

Surely this decision can be contested too in the courts?

S@d off Pat and Co. you are corrupt dinosaurs.

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zanf [869 posts] 3 years ago
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If McQuaid wins and asserts a dictatorship over the UCI and world cycling, I look forward to the day that he is strung upside down from a lamppost and given a Mussolini headkick.

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Sudor [188 posts] 3 years ago
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One wonders what exactly is motivating Pat McQuid for him to try every trick in the book to hold on to his position - fear ?

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Stumps [3414 posts] 3 years ago
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It is fear, he knows that if Cookson wins and i sincerely hope he does, all his past transgressions, back handers and cover ups are going to be laid bare for the world to see.

I cant wait for it to happen.

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Metjas [362 posts] 3 years ago
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gobsmacked.

Hard to see how McQuaid could be supported at the september Congress with this latest coup.

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drheaton [3318 posts] 3 years ago
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In fairness, if this was being suggested at any other time I think people would see it as a positive step. It allows federations from around the world to nominate someone and it would mean that a candidate would need to get international support rather than the curret situation where Cookson for example is backed by pretty much all of Europe but not a lot else.

Clearly the timing and the fact that this change is going to be made retrospectively means that it's very very dodgy and obviously a ploy to try and keep McQuaid in the race.

One thing to note though (from Inrng) is that the UCI needs a 2/3rds majority to pass this and Europe (backing Cookson) makes up 1/3rd of the board meaning only one federation outside of Europe has to abstain or vote against the change and it fails.

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Decster [246 posts] 3 years ago
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Cookson is not new to the UCI. He knows this type of thing goes on in UCI.

Where was Cookson when UCI apporved Amrstrong's return even though he did not have the minimum 6months of testing completed? This is just 1 example.

Cookson is the lesser of 2 evils, but an evil none the less.

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lushmiester [192 posts] 3 years ago
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There are times when I think Robert Mugabe could learn a trick or two from the UCI!

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crazy-legs [811 posts] 3 years ago
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Decster wrote:

Cookson is not new to the UCI. He knows this type of thing goes on in UCI.

Where was Cookson when UCI apporved Amrstrong's return even though he did not have the minimum 6months of testing completed? This is just 1 example.

Cookson is the lesser of 2 evils, but an evil none the less.

Yes but as he himself says, he may be outspoken on certain issues but like any democratic process it goes to a vote and if the majority agree then so be it. You don't know (although you may be able to look it up) how Cookson voted in that particular example that you cite, for all you know he could have been dead against it but been outvoted in a democratic process.

Brian is a genuinely decent down-to-earth guy. Pop into the velodrome, you may well bump into him, he's often in doing track sessions and he turns up at some of the local crits as well. No special treatment, he pays his entry money, rides with the rest of us but he's sometimes in the velodrome cafe after his track sessions if you want to pop in and share your views with him? Sure he'd love to talk to you...

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benjam [48 posts] 3 years ago
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Here's another photo of Fat Pat that you can use, freely on your website: http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=Pat+McQuaid&l=4 I'm sick of seeing this one.

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benjam [48 posts] 3 years ago
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PLEASE find another photo to use...

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notfastenough [3715 posts] 3 years ago
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stumps wrote:

It is fear, he knows that if Cookson wins and i sincerely hope he does, all his past transgressions, back handers and cover ups are going to be laid bare for the world to see.

I cant wait for it to happen.

I think it's even bigger than that - if Brian was one of his cronies it wouldn't be a problem, but the risk, I believe, is that Brian wins, throws out ALL the dirty linen and we find that the org has basically been run by a dynasty of successive 'buddies' who have mishandled the whole shebang since the start. (Lack of audit trail notwithstanding) That in turn risks the entire downfall of the UCI and the sport in turmoil. Cue re-emergent discussions re breakaway leagues etc.

Still, that might be a good thing in itself. Restart from the ground up, the way it should be done.

Anyone get the feeling that the hours/salary/first class flights/junkets must be *really* good for Pat to fight it this hard?!

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northstar [1108 posts] 3 years ago
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crazy-legs wrote:
Decster wrote:

Cookson is not new to the UCI. He knows this type of thing goes on in UCI.

Where was Cookson when UCI apporved Amrstrong's return even though he did not have the minimum 6months of testing completed? This is just 1 example.

Cookson is the lesser of 2 evils, but an evil none the less.

Yes but as he himself says, he may be outspoken on certain issues but like any democratic process it goes to a vote and if the majority agree then so be it. You don't know (although you may be able to look it up) how Cookson voted in that particular example that you cite, for all you know he could have been dead against it but been outvoted in a democratic process.

Brian is a genuinely decent down-to-earth guy. Pop into the velodrome, you may well bump into him, he's often in doing track sessions and he turns up at some of the local crits as well. No special treatment, he pays his entry money, rides with the rest of us but he's sometimes in the velodrome cafe after his track sessions if you want to pop in and share your views with him? Sure he'd love to talk to you...

None of that 2nd paragraph has no relevance to anything Decster said.

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crazy-legs [811 posts] 3 years ago
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Quote:

None of that 2nd paragraph has no relevance to anything Decster said.

It does, my point is that he's approachable and open and comes across as honest. Pretty much the opposite of Pat.

And I think you mean "any relevance" not "no relevance"
[/grammar pedant]

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AWP [109 posts] 3 years ago
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benjam wrote:

PLEASE find another photo to use...

PLEASE PLEASE!
I see it in my dreams; I'm scared to go to bed.

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Sam1 [220 posts] 3 years ago
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Where was Cookson when Armstrong was allowed to return? The answer is not on the UCI Management Committee at the time. He was only elected to it in 2009 after Armstrong had been allowed to return despite not being part of the testing pool for the mandatory 6 months

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The Rumpo Kid [589 posts] 3 years ago
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drheaton wrote:

In fairness, if this was being suggested at any other time I think people would see it as a positive step. It allows federations from around the world to nominate someone and it would mean that a candidate would need to get international support rather than the curret situation where Cookson for example is backed by pretty much all of Europe but not a lot else.

I'd have to disagree with you there I'm afraid. Federations from around the world can already nominate candidates, as long as they are members of that Federation. More to the point, the current method stops a person who cannot get the nomination of his own Country from whoring the UCI to smaller Federations, promising that they would be thrown a bone in return for nomination. What sort of quid pro quo do you think Pat has offered the Thai and Moroccan Federations for this?

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northstar [1108 posts] 3 years ago
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crazy-legs wrote:
Quote:

None of that 2nd paragraph has no relevance to anything Decster said.

It does, my point is that he's approachable and open and comes across as honest. Pretty much the opposite of Pat.

No it doesn't, you can keep saying it does but it doesn't mean anything.

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shay cycles [346 posts] 3 years ago
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northstar][quote=crazy-legs wrote:
Quote:

None of that 2nd paragraph has no relevance to anything Decster said.

It does, my point is that he's approachable and open and comes across as honest. Pretty much the opposite of Pat.

No it doesn't, you can keep saying it does but it doesn't mean anything.[/

Actally Decster said "Cookson is the lesser of 2 evils, but an evil none the less." The second paragraph from Crazy-legs is directly relevant as his point is clearly to refute that statement through demonstrating that Cookson is not "an evil".

Whether you agree that he has proven that Cooksson is not evil or not does not change the relevance of his statement. I'm also in a fairly pedantic mood right now (in which case I'll have to take issue with my use of the term "fairly pedantic" which is surely not possible)

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BigBear63 [80 posts] 3 years ago
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To anyone that has been involved in organisational committees and the election of representative members on such bodies these events will sound quite bizarre. On an international sporting federation such shenanegans will only bring the UCI in to disrepute.

With all the shit over doping that cycling has had to put up with, this sort of thing will only put more people off supporting the sport they love. It smacks of petty corruption and undermines the authority of the governing body. How can that be a good thing for cycling?

If it goes through it will inevitably result in a legal challenge for the very reasons Cookson has suggested.

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fuzzywuzzy [78 posts] 3 years ago
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If there wasn't still the possibility Pat might survive as president this act of desperation would be amusing.

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mogrim [50 posts] 3 years ago
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Unfortunately if Pat doesn't get nominated by someone, somewhere, there'll be no contest and no election, and he can sit on the sidelines sniping at the new direction, claiming the only reason he isn't there is because of a legal challenge in a Swiss court.

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pepita1 [176 posts] 3 years ago
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Why aren't there more candidates?

UCI should have term limits too. Let someone else have a go in the presidential seat.

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doc [167 posts] 3 years ago
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All the chicanery makes me wonder who is really pulling the strings. Old Hein is still there somewhere, I bet, and Pat was always his man from the start, didn't he "groom" him for the job as a natural successor?
I so much want Brian Cookson to get the job and have the chance to start restoring the UCI's credibility.
If Pat wins again, then all the national federations with any guts should simply refuse to affiliate and start a fresh international body where running the sport properly and honestly is the only agenda. The UCI would look pretty poor with just a few allegadly corrupt federations left as members, while the rest of the world got on with doing the job properly. I fear for Olympic inclusion if the current UCI regime is allowed to stay in place.

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monty dog [460 posts] 3 years ago
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I'd also fear for Olympic inclusion without the UCI as they are the only body the IOC recognise. Cycling needs the Olympics more than the Olympics need cycling right now but all this shenanigans about doping and corruption might be a bit too close for comfort for other sports governing bodies.

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