The president of Swiss Cycling has resigned in the wake of this week’s decision by the national federation to withdraw its nomination of Pat McQuaid for a third term as president of the world cycling’s governing body, the UCI.
The news was confirmed in a statement published on Swiss Cycling’s website yesterday: “Richard Chassot has tendered his resignation with immediate effect from the presidency and executive committee of Swiss Cycling.
“Chassot, who had been president since March 2012, leaves the Swiss cycling federation due to differences of opinion within the executive committee relating to the nomination of Pat McQuaid.”
Those “differences of opinion” became public knowledge a fortnight ago when it emerged that pressure was mounting on Chassot from other senior figures within the federation to withdraw the nomination, which was made in May.
The nomination came shortly before Cycling Ireland’s members voted at an extraordinary general meeting not to endorse the UCI president’s candidacy in next month’s election.
The decision to back McQuaid was itself due to have been examined by an arbitration panel yesterday after a legal challenge was mounted by Jaimie Fuller, chairman of compression clothing firm Skins and who, like McQuaid, is a resident of Switzerland, plus former Swiss national coach Kurt Buergi, ex Swiss Cycling board member Mattia Galli and former pro cyclist Patrick Calcagni.
It was also reported that a number of Swiss Cycling's executive committee members had attempted to persuade Chassot to withdraw McQuaid's nomination.
Wednesday’s announcement that the nomination had been withdrawn rendered that arbitration process redundant.
Swiss Cycling says that its vice-president, Franz Gallati, will act as interim president until the federation’s next general assembly.
McQuaid has also been nominated to stand for a third term by the national federations of Thailand and Morocco, claiming that those were received before the deadline of 29 June although they did not become public knowledge until almost a month later.
Lawyers acting for British Cycling, whose president Brian Cookson is McQuaid's sole opponent in next month's election at the UCI Congress in Florence, have challenged those nominations plus a controversial proposed rule change, intended to be applied retroactively, taht would allow candidates to be nominated by any two national federations.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.