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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, April 27, 2013 10:05 am

Pat McQuaid's bid in doubt to remain cycling chief

By ROB HARRISAP Sports Writer

Pat McQuaid's bid for a third term as head of cycling's governing body is in doubt, with his role in the Lance Armstrong scandal under scrutiny.

The Irishman secured the nomination of his national cycling organization two weeks ago on the condition he overhauls the UCI following revelations of Armstrong's doping program to win seven Tour de France titles.

But Cycling Ireland withdrew its endorsement Friday and called an emergency meeting. Company secretary Geoff Liffey said the meeting will "consider matters which have arisen following the decision" to nominate McQuaid.

Cycling Ireland said it would distribute details to its clubs next week. McQuaid played down the latest developments, calling the meeting a "technicality."

"This decision was taken on the basis of legal advice on procedural rules not on the merits of my nomination, which the board has endorsed," McQuaid said on the UCI website.

McQuaid's future has been clouded since the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency released its report on Armstrong. The report led to Armstrong being banned for life from cycling and stripped of his seven Tour titles. It found that the UCI helped cover up some suspicious samples from the American.

McQuaid has previously denied any collusion, but USADA head Travis Tygart urged Armstrong on Thursday to come forward with information detailing alleged UCI complicity. The cycling body has told Tygart to "establish the facts before jumping to conclusions."

An independent commission had been established to examine claims the UCI had accepted financial donations from Armstrong and covered up samples. But the UCI shut it down, instead preferring a separate amnesty-style "truth and reconciliation commission."