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'Skins' boss urges cycling chiefs not to back Pat McQuaid's re-election bid

“For the sake of cycling, we don’t want to see the Swiss Cycling Federation opening what should be a locked door,” Jaimie Fuller said.

Image: Peter Dejong/AP/Press Association Images

THE CHAIRMAN OF a global sports clothing company has written to Swiss cycling bosses imploring them not to facilitate Pat McQuaid’s re-election efforts.

With McQuaid’s bid for a third term as president of the International Cycling Union (UCI) in limbo, SKINS chairman Jaimie Fuller has asked the board of the Swiss Cycling Federation not to nominate the Dubliner if his support from Cycling Ireland falls through.

“For the sake of cycling, we don’t want to see the Swiss Cycling Federation opening what should be a locked door,” Fuller said.

McQuaid, who has been UCI president since 2006, pressed ahead with his re-election campaign despite coming under fire for his perceived handling of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.

But his prospects are shrouded in uncertainty since Cycling Ireland voided his nomination in a controversial process which saw board member Anthony Moran resign and an EGM called to reverse an earlier vote.

Under UCI rules presidential candidates need the backing of either their home union or the union in their country of residence in order to run for office, leaving McQuaid with the option of seeking Swiss support if necessary.

“Pat McQuaid is struggling for a nomination,” Fuller wrote today in a blog post entitled ‘Why the Swiss Cycling Federation may hold the future of the sport in their hands’.

“The world is quite rightly against him and even his staunch advocates are running scared, but he still refuses to wake up and smell the coffee. This is why we’re determined to keep the pressure on and make sure the Swiss don’t buckle under political influence.”

After attempts to secure a meeting with the president of the Swiss Federation Richard Chassot were unsuccessful, Fuller took the step of writing to board members to set out his case that the sport would be “irreparably harmed” by McQuaid’s re-election.

“If the Swiss don’t understand it already, this is a watershed moment. It’s a moment when all personal considerations must be cast aside and if Mr Chassot won’t allow us to make that point to him in person, then we’re going to make damned sure the message gets through to his board members. World Cycling does not want Pat McQuaid as its leader and endorsing him would leave the Swiss out of sync with the rest of the world.

“The Swiss Federation represents his last lifeline and for the sake of Cycling and for the sake of the anti-doping fight trying to clean up world sport in general, they cannot afford to facilitate his re-election,” he added.

Read Fuller’s letter to the Swiss Cycling Federation in full here >

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Niall Kelly

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