USA Cycling taking steps for an open, fair and procedurally-sound UCI election
For the last several months, international news media have devoted significant attention to the UCI Presidential election and the candidacies of Pat McQuaid and Brian Cookson. During this time, a substantial amount of debate has focused on the validity of Mr. McQuaid’s candidacy in the face of possible procedural irregularities in his nominations.
By way of an overview, Article 51.1 of the UCI Constitution only permits a presidential candidate to be nominated by “the federation of the candidate.” Cycling Ireland – representing Mr. McQuaid’s native federation -- initially nominated Mr. McQuaid. Subsequently, its members voted to withdraw the nomination in an Extraordinary General Meeting in June of this year after procedural questions concerning the nomination arose. In the meantime, the Swiss Cycling Federation (which Mr. McQuaid joined in May following signs of trouble with his Irish nomination) moved forward with its own nomination of Mr. McQuaid. However that nomination faced charges of procedural irregularities as well, and shortly before arbitration proceedings were scheduled to address the Swiss nomination, the Swiss Federation withdrew its nomination in the face of daunting legal arguments.
Mr. McQuaid then revealed previously unannounced late-June nominations from the Moroccan and Thai cycling federations, which nominations are now under scrutiny with regard to legitimacy and timing. At about the same time that Mr. McQuaid garnered the Moroccan and Thai nominations, the UCI also announced that UCI’s Congress in September would deliberate on proposed constitutional amendments that included a retroactive amendment that would legitimize the Thai and Moroccan nominations.
Many of our members and stakeholders have inquired about these machinations and have asked what (if anything) can be done to ensure that the upcoming election is not only open and fair, but also actually legal and will not be contested in the courts after it is completed.
At this point, USA Cycling and many other federations believe the answer is neither to sweep all the procedural challenges under the carpet nor to leave these questions open, but rather to obtain a final, incontestable decision in advance of the elections as to whether Article 51.1 allows more than one country to nominate a candidate. To that end, we and several other national cycling federations (Russia, Canada, Finland, and Algeria) have proposed that the UCI agree to binding arbitration before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) for a definitive and binding ruling on Article 51.1’s application. We have posted on our web site the text of the letters submitted to UCI.
With respect to several other complaints that have been lodged publicly about the proposed constitutional amendments, those will ultimately be decided by the delegates at the UCI Congress later this month.
In the meantime, USA Cycling and many other national federations are hopeful that the worldwide cycling community’s need for certainty in the forthcoming elections will persuade UCI to agree to CAS arbitration, which will advance the interests of cycling by ensuring that the 2013 Presidential election is not conducted under a cloud of doubt.
President & CEO
This Article Published September 1, 2013 For more information contact: