"Gangster politics" - Pat McQuaid writes to national federation heads condemning leak of dossier summary

UCI president hits out at opponents just over fortnight before crucial vote in Florence

by Simon_MacMichael   September 10, 2013  

Pat McQuaid GCN interview still

“Gangster politics” – that’s the phrase UCI president Pat McQuaid used in a letter to the heads of cycling’s national governing bodies to describe what he terms “a libellous ‘dossier’,” the summary of which was leaked yesterday evening, which details alleged corruption at the heart of the UCI during his presidency.

In his letter, the full text of which appears below, McQuaid, seeking a third term in office, accused his opponents of having “employed lies, bribery, attempted extortion, attempted vote-buying… and legal chicaneries to try to prevent you from even being given the chance to vote for or against me.

“This is not democracy. This is gangster politics.”

It’s a more expansive response to the one McQuaid gave last night when the website Velonews published the summary of the dossier, initially presented at the UCI Management Committee meeting in Bergen, Norway in June.

The dossier was reportedly compiled on behalf of two UCI Management Committee members, Mike Plant of USA Cycling, and Igor Makarov, president of the Russian Federation and the billionaire backer of the Katusha team.

Unlike the letter sent last week by McQuaid to the heads of the national federations that constitute the UCI, today’s was also sent to media organisations including road.cc, with the UCI president no doubt taking account of the fact that it would have been leaked to the press in any event.

Today’s missive calls on British Cycling president Brian Cookson – McQuaid’s sole opponent at the election, which takes place a fortnight on Friday at the UCI Congress in Florence – to “condemn these tactics utterly.”

McQuaid adding that if Cookson did not do so, “we can only assume that he supports them – and we will all have a graphic preview of how the UCI will be run for the coming four years under his leadership and with his henchmen.”

Cookson, who following that UCI Management Committee meeting in June described the contents of the dossier as “disturbing,” has already given his response to news of the leaked summary, however.

In a press release issued this morning, he said: “These allegations, which appear to be similar to those made to the UCI Management Committee in June, are clearly very serious. For the good of the UCI and cycling, they should be immediately and thoroughly investigated by the relevant authorities. I hope that this matter can be fully resolved before the UCI congress on 27 September.

“For my part, I remain totally committed to a democratic election under the Constitution of the UCI and will continue to talk and listen to national federations and voting delegates on how, together, we can grow cycling globally and restore faith and trust in our sport."

McQuaid’s letter to the heads of national federations represents the latest jockeying for position ahead of that crucial vote in Florence to determine who will run world cycling’s governing body for the next few years.

Already, the existing president’s candidacy is mired in controversy.

With his original nomination by Cycling Ireland rejected by its members in May, McQuaid then saw a second nomination from Swiss Cycling’s board withdrawn last month.

In late July, the UCI revealed that the Malaysian Federation and Asian Continental Confederation had proposed a change to the UCI Constitution – controversially, one that would be applied retroactively – that would allow a candidate to be nominated by any two national federations.

At the same time, it revealed that McQuaid had been nominated by the Thai and Moroccan federations, which would make his candidacy valid if that rule change were adopted in full.

It requires a two thirds majority of the 42 voting delegates at the UCI Congress to be passed, and the way the battle lines appear to be drawn at the moment, while the election itself, which takes place via secret ballot, appears to be too close to call, it’s likely that there is enough support for Cookson – or anti-McQuaid sentiment – for that to be blocked.

But McQuaid may not even need that rule change in order to stand for re-election; he insists that he is a member of both federations, and that he was nominated by each before the 29 June deadline, even though their backing of him was not made public until four weeks later.

A legal opinion secured by the UCI from law firm Baker & McKenzie insists that those nominations do comply with the UCI Constitution.

That has led to allegations from Cookson and others that he is trying to manipulate the election, and USA Cycling as well as the Russian cycling federation, among others, have asked the UCI to request the Court of Arbitration for Sport to rule on the issue.

The UCI refused to do so, but should McQuaid secure the majority vote of those 42 candidates in Florence and be re-elected for a third term, it is likely that the conduct of the election will be appealed to CAS by parties opposed to McQuaid – which is where Makarov’s billions could prove decisive.

Pat McQuaid letter

Aigle, Switzerland, 10th September 2013

TO THE PRESIDENTS OF ALL NATIONAL CYCLING FEDERATIONS

Dear Federation Presidents,

Yesterday evening, a libellous “dossier”, alleging corruption at the UCI, was anonymously leaked to the media. The media organisation presented the document to me. The claims in this so-called dossier are a complete fabrication. They are totally untrue and are not supported by a scintilla of evidence.

This is a scurrilous and libellous attack on my character, with a political agenda that is both nakedly transparent and totally contemptible – and unfortunately one that is completely in character with the tactics of my opponents.

The UCI Ethics Commission has already tried to investigate this dossier, which was compiled by Management Committee members Igor Makarov and Mike Plant. The Ethics Commission asked Mr Makarov and Mr Plant to hand over a copy of their dossier, but both of them have refused. That fact alone speaks volumes.

Given that Mr Makarov and Mr Plant are the only two people to have this document, it is clear that this ”anonymous” leak can only have come from one of them. Both of them have trumpeted their support for Brian Cookson in this Presidential election. That is entirely their prerogative, but this sort of despicable behaviour is not.

So far in this presidential election campaign, my opponents have employed lies, bribery, attempted extortion, attempted vote-buying, attempts at entrapment with hidden cameras and microphones, commercial interests threatening to bankrupt national federations if they didn’t withdraw my nomination and legal chicaneries to try to prevent you from even being given the chance to vote for or against me. This is not democracy. This is gangster politics.

If Brian Cookson does not now condemn these tactics utterly, then we can only assume that he supports them – and we will all have a graphic preview of how the UCI will be run for the coming four years under his leadership and with his henchmen.

This behaviour on the part of three Management Committee members – as well as this libellous dossier – is doing untold damage to the reputation of the UCI, something that Brian Cookson has claimed he apparently wants to restore.

I am proud to stand before you as a candidate in this election. I am proud to present you with a clear choice of leadership for the coming four years. I will be prouder still if you choose me as your next President at Congress this month. But if you do not, I will accept your choice with good grace and I will leave Florence with my head held high. I will know that I have given my all to the UCI over the past eight years and that I have done everything possible to protect our democratic process.

I challenge Brian Cookson to say the same thing.

Yours sincerely,

Pat McQuaid

13 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

O fat Pat McQ, FFS!

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1390 posts]
10th September 2013 - 16:45

3 Likes

You can tell he is lying as when he opens his mouth words come out.

It's like Armstrong all over again, so much stuff flying about it ends up sticking and hopefully it will bury him.

Wave Wave McQuaid.

There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

stumps's picture

posted by stumps [2929 posts]
10th September 2013 - 17:28

4 Likes

His terrible mastery of English is hysterical...like something from 'The Thick of It' or '2012'. He calls it a 'so called dossier'...no, it really is a dossier...yo just may not agree with it all..

...and then a great mix of American English and UK English spellings, showing that at least this time they wrote in UK English and corrected in US spellcheck (I bet!). Last time they did not even spell check me thinks....

oh sigh...oh dear...what will he do when he leaves the UCI? I know....Pantomime Villain!! he can make a decent living every Xmas.

posted by brackley88 [89 posts]
10th September 2013 - 18:34

3 Likes

It's getting desperate for Pat now - if he doesn't win this the whole glorious gravy train he's been riding for the past few years comes to a shuddering halt. Short of physical violence I doubt there's nothing he won't do to get re-elected.

Pastaman

posted by pastaman [231 posts]
10th September 2013 - 20:54

2 Likes

Given that the document is in the open, however unpalatable that may be to him, Pat needs to be able to refute it rather than just deny it.

Not a bad letter, but why is there any need to challenge Cookson to "Do the same thing"?

Gerard the Kiwi

GerardR's picture

posted by GerardR [88 posts]
11th September 2013 - 5:15

3 Likes

If PMQ is talking 'gangsters' then the next step for Cookson is a bullet proof vest!

antonio

antonio's picture

posted by antonio [1050 posts]
11th September 2013 - 8:02

4 Likes

I was thinking, if this is what a change of leadership in the UCI is like, imagine the carnage when FIFA get around to having a challenger!

Racer 074 for the 2014 Transcontinental Race; 2,000 miles from London to Istanbul.

http://themartincox.co.uk/2014/03/racer-074-transcontinental-race-2014/

posted by themartincox [403 posts]
11th September 2013 - 8:12

1 Like

GerardR wrote:
Given that the document is in the open, however unpalatable that may be to him, Pat needs to be able to refute it rather than just deny it.

Spot on. Pat can claim it's libelous all he wants, but unless he's willing to put his money where his mouth is, then it's just more bluster from him.

posted by dp24 [196 posts]
11th September 2013 - 8:31

1 Like

Edited after article picture changed...

posted by lakeland bimbler [15 posts]
11th September 2013 - 8:53

2 Likes

You have to admire the sheer nerve of a man who can spin absolutely any event to his favour. Doesn't matter what happens - legal challenges, dossiers, allegations, damning Reasoned Reports, you name it, it all has the same message: "I'm brilliant, everyone else is an ar$e."

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3563 posts]
11th September 2013 - 10:54

1 Like

Since it's 'libelous' and we know it's the responsibility of the Russian and American federations I assume we'll be seeing them in court soon? Unless of course losing that case would cost Pat face in the countries he's leaning on for votes.

Seriously Pat, from what we are hearing almost the entire group of countries representing the current UCI Pro Peleton are against you. Take the hint.

posted by racingcondor [130 posts]
11th September 2013 - 10:56

4 Likes

So because he refers to 'my opponets' (despite their only being one challenger for the election) the implication is clear that he refering to Cookson, so is it not slightly libelous to accuse him of...

McQuaid wrote:
So far in this presidential election campaign, my opponents have employed lies, bribery, attempted extortion, attempted vote-buying, attempts at entrapment with hidden cameras and microphones, commercial interests threatening to bankrupt national federations
Quote:

posted by md6 [165 posts]
11th September 2013 - 11:16

2 Likes

Funny how this is Gangster politics according to McQuaid but actually extorting a bride somehow isn't?

PS. Thank you for finally using a different stock image of McQuaid although I think a more villainous one is in store

posted by jarredscycling [457 posts]
11th September 2013 - 14:11

2 Likes