World cycling chief Pat McQuaid loses Swiss backing
Lausanne (Switzerland): International Cycling Union (UCI) president Pat McQuaid received a blow on Wednesday to his bid to win a third term in the role as the Swiss Cycling Federation withdrew their backing for his candidacy.
Irishman McQuaid had already seen his homeland remove their support for him but then thought he been granted a reprieve when the Swiss stepped in.
But now he has lost their backing as well, he is left needing to change the rules in order to stand for election.
"The Board of Directors of Swiss Cycling have reversed their decision from May 13, 2013 concerning the nomination of Pat McQuaid and decided yesterday (Tuesday) to withdraw the nomination of Pat McQuaid for re-election to the UCI presidency," said the Swiss Federation in a statement.
"By consequence the arbitration requested by three members of Swiss Cycling has been cancelled as it is no longer of any use."
Three members of the board had previously contested Swiss Cycling`s decision to support the Irishman.
McQuaid has been severely criticised over his links to now-disgraced former cycling star Lance Armstrong.
McQuaid was suspected of complicity in helping Armstrong, who has been stripped of his seven Tour de France victories, cover up positive doping tests.
The 63-year-old has previously accused his detractors of mounting a "smear campaign" against him.
"I do think there is a certain movement out there against me, which doesn`t want me to be the president of the UCI for their own political reasons, or for their own personal reasons," he told AFP earlier this month.
He is due to stand against longtime British Cycling president Brian Cookson in the election in Florence on September 27.
But in order to do so he needs to secure a modification to the UCI statutes as under current legislation he is ineligible.
The Malaysian Federation has proposed an amendment that would allow a presidential candidate to be supported by two member Federations rather than his own affiliated federation.
If that is successful, McQuaid would be able to stand for election as he has the support of the Thai and Moroccan federations.
The reason he had managed to stay in the race through Swiss support was that although he is Irish, he lives in Switzerland, where the UCI is based.