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CYCLING: MNCF in a tight spot


COMPLICATED: National body in trouble over controversial bid to back incumbent UCI president

THE Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) is in hot water after a controversial move to help incumbent  International Cycling Union (UCI) president Pat McQuaid's  dwindling chances of being re-elected.

An official letter to the UCI management committee from the MNCF has called for an amendment to the UCI constitution to allow for presidential candidates to be nominated by any two national bodies.

Currently Article 51 of the UCI constitution requires presidential candidates to be nominated by their own national body, for which McQuaid's bid for a third term in office has been thwarted after Cycling Ireland voted not to support him.

As it stands, British Cycling president Brian Cookson, who has been nominated by his federation, would win the Sept 27 elections, to be held on the sidelines of the UCI Road World Championships in Florence, Italy, uncontested.

It has become a complicated issue, as widely reported yesterday, with McQuaid's membership of the Swiss cycling federation and its nomination for him being refuted by the majority of members of that federation and is pending a court's decision.

This caused the latest twist in McQuaid's attempt to regain power, with his nomination coming from the national bodies of Morocco and Thailand, both of which the 64-year-old Irishman is now, surprisingly, a member.

Malaysia's backing for the controversial McQuaid, whose image has been tarnished by doping issues and other allegations, has been lambasted by several quarters.

Cookson was even quoted as calling the letter an "embarrassment to cycling."

MNCF secretary Ibrahim Mustapha said the federation's executive committee agreed on a stand to support McQuaid in his quest for re-election.

"We had agreed to go with the Asian Cycling Confederation in supporting McQuaid. And the president (Datuk Abu Samah Wahab) has informed me that we have called for some constitutional amendments in the UCI," said Ibrahim.

"It is a unanimous decision and our stand is to support McQuaid for re-election."

McQuaid's association with Malaysia goes back to the beginning of Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) when he was contracted as a consultant and race director in its early years, paving the way for his rise in the cycling world.

Pat McQuaid is trying to gain a nomination to be re-elected as UCI chief.

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