Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) President Pat McQuaid’s future as head of the sport has been thrown into doubt following an extraordinary set of circumstances which unfolded over the weekend.
The Irishman had been nominated by the Board of Cycling Ireland for the role of President for a third term on April 12 but the manner in which that meeting was conducted has resulted in the nomination being declared void.
The issue first came to light on Friday last when recently resigned Cycling Ireland Board member Anto Moran questioned the procedures surrounding McQuaid’s nomination at that meeting (on April 12).
One source described the issue as “a technicality” while another termed it “housekeeping, or where the rules for holding meetings may not have been rigidly adhered to”.
Moran, who was the only CI Board member to vote against McQuaid’s nomination, raised his concerns with Cycling Ireland about the validity of the meeting, and thus the validity of the nomination for McQuaid, and subsequently pushed the federation to put McQuaid’s nomination to an EGM.
A Board meeting was held over the weekend – though not exclusively in response to the growing opposition to McQuaid and how the meeting was conducted – and afterwards Cycling Ireland released a brief statement outlining that there would be an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) and “Details of the EGM will be circulated to all clubs early next week”. The statement was signed by CI secretary, Geoff Liffey.
And in response to that, McQuaid issued his own statement, claiming the decision by Cycling Ireland to call an EGM on his efforts to seek a third term as president of the world governing body is no reflection on his candidacy for the job. McQuaid said the board was forced, on legal advice, to call an EGM, where members of the organisation will vote to grant or refuse his request to Cycling Ireland for a nomination to contest the presidential election in September.
The CI Board, at their meeting over the weekend, could have taken a re-vote to nominate McQuaid, or not but such has been the outcry since the original nomination and Cycling Ireland’s perceived poor handling of the matter that the board decided not to do so.
Instead, the members succumbed to pressure and opted to put the matter to an EGM.
Pat McQuaid’s statement reads: “I was honoured that the board of Cycling Ireland endorsed my nomination as a candidate for the presidency of the UCI earlier this month.”
“I understand Cycling Ireland has now decided to refer the matter to an EGM as a result of a technicality arising from the fact that its President (Rory Wyley) temporarily vacated the chair of the nomination meeting so that he could contribute to the meeting under the chair of the CEO (Geoff Liffey).”
McQuaid’s statement continues: “This decision was taken on the basis of legal advice on procedural rules not on the merits of my nomination which the Board has endorsed.”