Pat McQuaid has been seen as divisive and controversial but is tipped for another four-year term as UCI president
By Brian Canty
The board of Cycling Ireland will meet on Friday to decide if the federation will nominate UCI president Pat McQuaid for election to a third term of office at the world governing body.
McQuaid is said to be very anxious to avoid the embarrassment that would arise from any outcome other than the immediate and unqualified backing of the board.
As revealed first on stickybottle at the time, McQuaid last year informed the federation he would be seeking a third term in office when elections for the post are held in September. He also told them he wanted Cycling Ireland to nominate him.
The eight board members will meet, most likely at the federation’s headquarters at Kelly-Roche House on Dublin’s North Circular Road, on Friday when the matter will be decided upon.
Assuming there is a decision to either support or decline McQuaid’s request for the nomination, that decision is likely to be announced as early as Friday night.
McQuaid needs to be nominated to run for election as president. He cannot run without a nomination. But if Cycling Ireland decided it was not going to nominate him, McQuaid could go to other national federations and seek a nomination.
However, any difficulty in securing the nomination from his home federation would be a major embarrassment for him. Cycling Ireland nominated him on both previous occasions he ran for president.
Cycling Ireland had previously said it would await the findings of a so-called independent commission, instigated by the UCI, into the role of the governing body and its key officials around the handling of the Lance Armstrong affair before deciding if it would back McQuaid or not.
However, that process has fallen apart and a report promised by June will not now materialise. It means Cycling Ireland is pressing ahead with its deliberations earlier than expected.
While McQuaid is seen as a controversial and divisive figure, when the issue of nominating him or not was discussed from the floor at last year’s Cycling Ireland AGM, as many delegates spoke in favour of backing him as spoke against that proposal.
Cycling Ireland’s honorary president Rory Wyley remained tight-lipped on what he termed a “sensitive” issue, offering a “no comment” response when contacted today.
Stickybottle understands the board members could either endorse McQuaid’s request or reject it, or they could agree to hold an EGM, where the clubs would decide if the federation should back him.
“There is a board meeting on this Friday which will be discussing Mr McQuaid’s request for a nomination, and other than that we won’t be saying anything,” said Wyley.
“All I can say is that we will be deliberating and discussing the matter, so no further comment.”
The eight-person board includes Wyley, Jack Watson (honorary secretary), Sam McArdle (honorary treasurer), Anthony Moran (honorary vice president), Denis Toomey, John Horgan, Senan Turnbull and Vern Power (all directors).