Pat McQuaid shot back at his detractors on Wednesday in an appearance on Irish radio. The president of cycling’s world governing body argued that his nomination for reelection is legitimate and cited his record in globalizing the sport among the reasons he should return for a third term atop the UCI.
In a heated exchange with RTÉ Radio 1 host Pat Kenny, McQuaid argued that his nomination for a third term in the top post at the UCI was legitimate, despite concerns, raised by the host, that the Irishman was not following the spirit of the UCI’s constitution in gaining the support of Switzerland, Morocco, and Thailand after his home country of Ireland voted against nominating the embattled president.
“At the end of the day, democracy is best served by having a candidate … having an election and having candidates go for election. If we were to follow your interpretation of it, I would just step aside and let Brian Cookson walk straight into the presidency of the UCI. I don’t think my federations would thank me for that. I have had a lot of federations around the world who have urged me, despite the various pressures that have been on me, including inducements to leave the position, that I shouldn’t leave the position and they want me to stay,” McQuaid said when asked if he were breaking the spirit of the UCI constitution.
McQuaid refused to elaborate when asked to expand on the pressures he has faced to step down from his post. He also dismissed recent comments from American Mike Plant, a member of the UCI Management Committee, who called a proposal by the Malaysian federation to amend the UCI’s election protocol “unconscionable, unethical, dishonest, unprofessional, manipulative and destructive.”
When further questioned over his ties to the Moroccan federation, McQuaid said, “Morocco is a federation I am closely associated with, I have close ties with. They’ve made me a member of their federation and they’ve nominated me. But I don’t have any ‘the’ federation on my candidate, because the fact is, I’m the president of 175 federations. I left Ireland eight years, so I have little or nothing to do with the Irish federation.”