McQuaid rails at 'farce' jibe
UCI's Irish president lashes back at election rival Cookson
International Cycling Union president Pat McQuaid has called for challenger Brian Cookson to allow the race for power to proceed to a vote amid a leadership battle which is being thrashed out by lawyers.
Irishman McQuaid, seeking a third four-year term as president following his 2005 election, and British Cycling president Cookson are vying for office next month, but their struggle for the leadership of the UCI has become increasingly hostile.
Cookson recently described McQuaid's nomination by the Thai and Moroccan federations, which followed his failure to be nominated by Cycling Ireland and the legal challenge to his Swiss nomination, as a "farce".
Cookson argues the nomination came after the closing date, but McQuaid insisted no rules had been broken and says the claim is "outrageous".
"I do not fear an open election and I am not at all concerned by my ability to secure the support and votes that I require to be re-elected as UCI president," McQuaid said in a statement. "While it would appear that Brian has lost confidence in his own ability, I continue to challenge him to allow the UCI congress and its voting delegates to decide."
McQuaid again insisted his nominations from the cycling federations of Switzerland, Thailand and Morocco were received in accordance with the UCI rules by the designated closing date, before questioning whether Cookson was trying to avoid an election by "associating himself with his federation's legal challenge to matters concerning the governance of the election".
McQuaid is "appalled" by the suggestion from British Cycling, in a letter from its lawyers, that the UCI had accepted his nominations from the Thai and Moroccan cycling federations after the closing date.
"That is an outrageous suggestion," McQuaid said. "Brian must immediately make a statement on whether he believes that to be true and if he believes otherwise he has duty to ensure that this allegation is publicly withdrawn. As the president of British Cycling, Brian Cookson must explain his decision to allow his federation – that is funding his campaign – to behave in this way and to use its considerable financial clout to employ lawyers to challenge issues in the election."