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Pat McQuaid insists he has nothing to fear from CIRC report (turns out he was wrong)

Former UCI president does reveal regrets over contract with Igor Makarov which he admits was conflict of interest

Former UCI president Pat McQuaid has defended his time in charge of world cycling’s governing body ahead of the publication tomorrow morning of a report by the Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC) that is expected to be highly critical of the Irishman and his predecessor, Hein Verbruggen.

(Update - Those expectations turned out to be correct, with the former UCI presidents accused among other things of poor governance, undermining the fight against doping and credibility in the governing body, and protecting Lance Armstrong. Read our report here.)

Speaking to Cycling News, McQuaid also confirmed that while still in office he entered into a contract with Igor Makarov, owner of the Katusha team and president of the Russian cycling federation, something he admits he realised in hindsight was a conflict of interest.

The agreement would have seen McQuaid help develop cycling in Makarov’s home country, Turkmenistan, including putting together a bid to host the 2017 UCI Road World Championships.

He said that when he signed the contract in 2012, he did not plan to stand for re-election the following year and that when he decided to do so, he told Makarov he did not want to go ahead with it

He denied that his decision not to proceed was motivated by a cooling of the relationship between him and Makarov after Katusha was refused a WorldTour licence for that season. It received one following a successful appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

McQuaid said: "That is the one sincere regret I have of my eight years as UCI President. Indeed, I am proud of my achievements, in particular in relation to anti-doping and the globalisation of my sport during my presidency."

The CIRC was set up last year by Brian Cookson, who beat McQuaid to the UCI   following an acrimonious campaign, and it has now transpired that a copy of the contract was contained in a dossier that UCI management board member Makarov sent to the heads of national federations ahead of the election.

The former UCI chief confirmed that he has testified to the three-member commission, part of whose remit was to examine allegations of the governing body colluding in covering up doping by the disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong.0

The latter was banned from sport for life in October 2012 and stripped of results including the seven Tour de France victories he achieved from 1999 to 2005.

At the time, ratifying the sanctions, McQuaid said that Armstrong "has no place in cycling," but more recently he has claimed that the American was a "scapegoat" and the victim of a "witch hunt" by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

Cookson has said that the report will make for “uncomfortable reading” and that "when you open a can of worms, you find a lot of worms."

But McQuaid, who took over from Verbruggen in 2005, insisted he was "totally confident" the commission would "not report any wrongdoings, or complicity in covering up any positive doping cases" while he was in charge.

He also maintained he had been "completely open and transparent" on the three occasions on which he appeared before the CIRC.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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mtm_01 | 9 years ago

McQuaid seems to use the 1990s/early00s doping cyclist's excuse book of denying everything even when it's clearly true.

Oolon Colluphid | 9 years ago

He really is deluded idiot isn't he? SO pleased he's not at the helm any longer.

2 Wheeled Idiot | 9 years ago


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