UCI presidency: Seb Coe supports Cookson, but McQuaid says IOC seat will go if he is deposed

British Olympic Committee chair writes to all UCI delegates

by John Stevenson   September 5, 2013  

Brian Cookson press pic

Brian Cookson’s campaign to be elected president of cycling’s governing body the UCI has gained momentum with endorsements from British Olympic Association chairman Sebastian Coe, and the Canadian and New Zealand cycling federations. But incumbent president Pat McQuaid says cycling will lose its seat at the International Olympic Committee table if he is not re-elected.

Coe has written to each of the UCI confederation presidents supporting Cookson’s candidature, while the Canadian and New Zealand federations have both issued statements supporting Cookson.

The British Olympic Association said in a statement: “Brian Cookson has contributed enormously to the sport of cycling in the UK over the past 15 years, both in helping to deliver international success and growing the sport at the grassroots and community levels.

“We believe that Brian would make an excellent UCI president, provide real leadership in the international arena and help rebuild trust and credibility in the sport of cycling internationally.

“BOA chairman Seb Coe has recently written to each of the UCI confederation presidents to express the BOA’s full support for Brian’s bid to lead the UCI, and we will continue to support him all the way through to the election, where we hope he will be successful.”

"Cycling will lose IOC member"

But Pat McQuaid says cycling will not be represented in the IOC if Cookson is elected. If McQuaid is ousted he will lose the post on the IOC that he has held since 2010, and would not be automatically be replaced with another UCI delegate.

"Cycling will lose its IOC member if I am not re-elected," McQuaid told insidethegames.

"The statement [from Coe] doesn't change the fact that Brian has no influence within the IOC and no one within the cycling family is going to be fooled into thinking otherwise.

"It is no surprise that he has support from another GB entity which is where most of his support comes from and where his agenda is focused."

“Dark cloud of uncertainty and skepticism"

Canada and New Zealand think Cookson is the man for the job, though.

Cycling Canada’s open letter supporting Cookson said that there is “a dark cloud of uncertainty and skepticism surrounding cycling as a whole.”

“There is a need and a call for leadership change not only to improve the perception of cycling but to improve on governance, stakeholder relations, and further work to advance the fight on doping,” it said.

"We believe Mr. Cookson is best positioned to deliver the necessary change and will drive the kind of organisational change we feel is necessary for cycling to reach its extensive potential.  He has shown he is not willing to stand for a corrupt sport and he recognises the need for a collaborative approach with all stakeholders going forward.

"His manifesto shows he understands the issues at hand. He has the necessary experience and a proven track record in the sport of building and supporting solid growth."

Legal battles

However, Cycling Canada pointed out that the procedural wrangling over the election is distracting from the issues. “With respect to the current uncertainty over the status of nominations we do urge Mr. Cookson to focus his efforts on winning a clear mandate from the UCI Congress by delivering a compelling platform and vision instead of engaging in legal or procedural battles,” it said.

BikeNZ agreed that cycling needs structural changes and greater transparency.

“Brian Cookson will advocate for these changes and based on his success with British cycling we believe he can bring about the positive changes cycling needs,” said Richard Leggat, BikeNZ President.

The status of McQuaid’s nomination for the presidency is still uncertain after the Swiss Cycling Federation withdrew its nomination. He now needs the UCI Congress to ratify a rule change allowing any two federations to nominate a candidate so that he can be nominated by Thailand and Morocco.

16 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Who gives a s**t if McQuid is denied his IOC meal ticket - no one I know wants him to represent cycling - Cookson can do a better job IOC member or not.

Sudor

posted by Sudor [184 posts]
5th September 2013 - 10:43

10 Likes

Both are as bad as each other, neither deserve it.

posted by northstar [1113 posts]
5th September 2013 - 10:55

11 Likes

northstar wrote:
Both are as bad as each other, neither deserve it.

Lets get Pat re-elected then so the UCI loses all credibility and just dies already.

Maybe a scorched earth policy is the best way forward?

zanf's picture

posted by zanf [645 posts]
5th September 2013 - 11:15

10 Likes

As much as I dislike McQuaid and believe he should be replaced I can't help but feel that if he is prevented from being nominated he'll hang around in the background sniping at Cookson and claiming he doesn't have a mandate becuase he'd have won the nomination unchallenged.

Cycling needs a contest and if one of the contestants has to be McQuaid then so be it.

posted by drheaton [3429 posts]
5th September 2013 - 11:17

8 Likes

drheaton wrote:
As much as I dislike McQuaid and believe he should be replaced I can't help but feel that if he is prevented from being nominated he'll hang around in the background sniping at Cookson and claiming he doesn't have a mandate becuase he'd have won the nomination unchallenged.

Cycling needs a contest and if one of the contestants has to be McQuaid then so be it.

WWell, if it gets to the Congress vote on the Malaysian proposal, which has to be held before the vote on the candidates, 2/3rds of the voteholders need to vote in favour of it to be passed, for PMQ to be able to stand. With almost all of the European votes against it (I'm assuming Ireland might abstain) as well as Oceania, PMQ's scuppered right there.

The problem is that PMQ is constantly bending the rules in this whole process, so wwhat's Cookson and others to do? Let it go unchallenged? If they say and do nothing it can be interpreted that they condone it.

posted by Sim1 [57 posts]
5th September 2013 - 12:03

10 Likes

zanf wrote:
northstar wrote:
Both are as bad as each other, neither deserve it.

Lets get Pat re-elected then so the UCI loses all credibility and just dies already.

Maybe a scorched earth policy is the best way forward?

But it wouldnt happen like that. The UCI aint gonna die, even with PMQ re-elected. Who's going to kill it? Its a sports governing body. The only body it (sort of) answers to is the IOC. They gonna kill it? I dont think so.

posted by Sim1 [57 posts]
5th September 2013 - 12:06

10 Likes

As it stands, Pat does not need a constitutional change. His, and the UCI's, position is that the nominations from the Thai and Moroccan Federations are valid.

posted by The Rumpo Kid [590 posts]
5th September 2013 - 12:26

10 Likes

Sim1 wrote:
But it wouldnt happen like that. The UCI aint gonna die, even with PMQ re-elected. Who's going to kill it? Its a sports governing body. The only body it (sort of) answers to is the IOC. They gonna kill it? I dont think so.

I know its not really going to happen but one can dream! Wink

With whats been happening with the UCI for the last few years all culminating in this election, the current situation with the UK's crappy transport policy and recent deaths of more cyclists because of HGV's, its all coming to the boil and it has to give but I fear it may well be me that does.

zanf's picture

posted by zanf [645 posts]
5th September 2013 - 12:27

9 Likes

PMQ's influence on the IOC led to the removal of track cyclings blue riband event, the individual pursuit.

antonio

antonio's picture

posted by antonio [1084 posts]
5th September 2013 - 14:27

10 Likes

zanf wrote:
northstar wrote:
Both are as bad as each other, neither deserve it.

Lets get Pat re-elected then so the UCI loses all credibility and just dies already.

Maybe a scorched earth policy is the best way forward?

I couldn't care what happens to it, it is completely irrelevant.

posted by northstar [1113 posts]
5th September 2013 - 15:31

9 Likes

UCI. IOC. PMQ. All as crooked as one another. All it needs is FIFA in there as well, oh hang on a minute ........Smile

posted by duc888 [39 posts]
5th September 2013 - 15:44

10 Likes

Who cares about a spot on the IOC if you can't even trust the governing federation! It is just another example of McQuaid trying to scare people because he knows he can't win on the issues or the merit. The funnies part is that he has benefited way more from the constitutional questions raised by his nomination. It has made the election non-issue based which is GREAT for McQuaid but bad for the world of cycling

posted by jarredscycling [457 posts]
5th September 2013 - 15:53

11 Likes

Sim1 wrote:
zanf wrote:
northstar wrote:
Both are as bad as each other, neither deserve it.

Lets get Pat re-elected then so the UCI loses all credibility and just dies already.

Maybe a scorched earth policy is the best way forward?

But it wouldnt happen like that. The UCI aint gonna die, even with PMQ re-elected. Who's going to kill it? Its a sports governing body. The only body it (sort of) answers to is the IOC. They gonna kill it? I dont think so.

Just give me an AK and a truck load of ammo, I'll do it.

posted by drfabulous0 [404 posts]
5th September 2013 - 20:29

8 Likes

No need to expand on your comment regarding McQuaid but what have you got against Cookson?

posted by festival [104 posts]
5th September 2013 - 20:35

9 Likes

"But Pat McQuaid says cycling will not be represented in the IOC if Cookson is elected. If McQuaid is ousted he will lose the post on the IOC that he has held since 2010, and would not be automatically be replaced with another UCI delegate.

"Cycling will lose its IOC member if I am not re-elected," McQuaid told insidethegames.

"The statement [from Coe] doesn't change the fact that Brian has no influence within the IOC and no one within the cycling family is going to be fooled into thinking otherwise."

Typical piece of PMQ BS - whilst it is true that there is no "automatic" replacement of one UCI delegate with another, that isn't to say it won't happen - or is what PMQ is really saying, is that he's done a side-deal with Rogge to land cycling in the cart if PMQ can't continue in his (allegedly) corrupt and questionable leadership of one of the most discredited sports' governing bodies on the planet?

The IOC would then be (rightly) lambasted for effectively saying that they'd rather have a delegate who has been at the helm of a governing body that appears to have been complicit in a whole string of very questionable decisions, actions and occurrences, rather tan a delegate who would be bringing a very clear agenda to the table, rooted in a policy of transparency and true open management.

All very murky, all very saddening ... I'm no lover of BC but I think that Brian Cookson would do a great job at the UCI.

If it were not for the fact that you never know what other iffiness PMQ has been involved in, to try and guarantee his re-election (I mean, if Mugabe can do it ...), I'd say bring on a straight fight and may the best man win ...

This week I have mostly been riding a Mondiale in Deda V107 with Campagnolo Super Record 11 ...

posted by velotech_cycling [76 posts]
5th September 2013 - 22:19

9 Likes

whilst it is self evidently true that we dont know how BC will perform in the role of president, we do know how embarrassingly egotistical and inept PMQ has been. Mind you, that seems fairly normal for heads and delegates of international sporting associations. So he is probably only copying the behaviour of his peers in this respect. BC would IMO depart from such a course, taking a more measured, rational and transparent approach. The question is : is that what the voting delegates want? Sadly, I doubt it. If PMQ is reeleced( which I fear is likely) , then i do hope the UCI will splinter and fans and sponsors and media follow the breakaway group.teams and riders would then, presumably, have to make a choice. This would devalue cycling at the olympics as the uci and ioc are stuck with each other. On the upside, the uci might eventually just wither away.

posted by philtregear [86 posts]
12th September 2013 - 21:14

11 Likes