In the run up to the UCI’s presidential election next week, the current head of the governing body, Brian Cookson, has claimed that his predecessor Pat McQuaid has sought to influence the vote by “actively lobbying” against him.
Brian Cookson, currently running against David Lappartient for cycling’s top job, has expressed “grave concern” in a report by the BBC about McQuaid’s reported actions.
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The Brit looks to be re-elected ahead of Lappartient but claims to have seen “proof” that the former UCI president, who was deposed in 2013, has attempted to swell support among voters for Lappartient ahead of the vote on September 21.
While McQuaid has publicly stated his support for Frenchman Lappartient, he has reportedly sent an email to members of the UCI who’ll be voting on the issue asking them to “support David [Lappartient]”.
The revelation comes after the BBC were shown the email from an unnamed UCI delegate.
In the email McQuaid claims that the UCI have painted a picture that everything is “rosy” but claims the governing body in reality is far from it.
The email also sees McQuaid reference the lack of UCI influence on international boards like the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The Irishman said how the “UCI has little clout in the larger international sporting world.”
This isn’t the first time McQuaid and Cookson have clashed with the former president calling Cookson a “fraud” in July.
A lot of Cookson’s initial campaigning for the role of UCI president in 2013 had highlighted McQuaid’s handling of the Lance Armstrong debacle.
However, McQuaid isn’t the only person calling for Cookson to not be re-elected with Lance Armstrong, Johan Bruyneel and former chair of the Culture, Media, and Sport select committee, Damian Collins, all agreeing.
In a statement made by Cookson, the Brit says that his rival Lappartient’s lack of denouncement of McQuaid only highlights the “devastating direction” that he would take cycling in.
“I have of course seen the declarations Pat McQuaid has made recently in support of David in the media and I have also been shown proof that Pat is actively lobbying on David’s behalf” he said.
However, Lappartient responded to claims saying that the actions of McQuiad had nothing to do with him.
“This was a personal act of McQuaid and not on my demand,” he said. “By saying ‘Only they know if…’ seems to me, once again, Brian Cookson is certain of nothing. Making false comments like these is unsportsmanlike behaviour.”
The Frenchman called Cookson’s claim’s “pitiful” adding: “This act is undoubtedly a clear sign of despair from Brian Cookson and his languished campaign.”