Swiss Cycling has confirmed that it has withdrawn its nomination of Pat McQuaid to stand for a third term as president of the UCI, just days before an arbitration panel was due to rule on its validity following a legal challenge that could have seen the national federation hit with crippling legal costs had it lost.
The news will come as a blow to McQuaid's hopes of securing re-election to the top job at world cycling's governing body at the UCI World Congress to be held in Florence at the end of next month, where his sole opponent is British Cycling president, Brian Cookson.
It comes on a day when a legal opinion from the Geneva office of international law firm Baker & McKenzie suggests that there is nothing untoward in the retroactive application of a proposed change to the UCI's constitution, due to be voted on in Florence, that would allow McQuaid to be nominated by the Thai and Moroccan federations.
British Cycling has challenged the legality of that proposed rule change through its own lawyers, and Baker & McKenzie's opinion should be viewed as a response to that, rather than a legally binding judgment, which some media outlets are reporting it as.
Originally, McQuaid had been nominated for this year's election by the board of Cycling Ireland, which had also backed his candidacy in 2005 and 2009.
Amid and outcry from many of the federation's members, it was found that there had been a procedural irregularity with the nomination, and when it was put to the vote at an Emergency General Meeting in Dublin in May, delegates voted not to endorse his nomination.
Simon joined road.cc 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.