In his leaked secret letter to federation presidents, McQuaid wrote the following story:
- Challenger Brian Cookson recently visited Igor Makarov, Russian UCI board member (and therefore colleague of Cookson) and Katusha team owner.
- Makarov is close friends with Mr. Walkiewicz, who was also at the meeting (as it turns out, he was not).
- In 2006, the UCI Ethics Commission (yes, it exists) found Mr Walkiewicz guilty of breaching the UCI Code of Ethics (apparently, this never happened either, who knows). Note that Mr. alkiewicz is still the honorary president of the European cycling union, the UEC, so in effect “the Verbruggen of the UEC”.
- Makarov’s company Itera donated 1 million to the UEC “within weeks after the election” which McQuaid tries to make sinister. It may be, I don’t know, but it’s hard to see how making a donation AFTER the election has any effect. To me it would be logical that you donate money to a cause after you know who is running it. If the new president is not to your liking, why give him a million to play with? But I digress.
Based on this, McQuaid thought it appropriate to ask the following questions:
- Does he condone Mr Walkiewicz’ s activities?
- What was the nature of his visit and discussions with Mr Makarov in Moscow?
- Did he establish the facts concerning the €1m donation by Mr Makarov’s company Itera to UEC and does he continue to have concerns on this issue?
- Does he share Mr Makarov’s anger over the decision of the UCI Licence Committee to refuse his Katusha team a World Tour Licence?
- What assurances can he provide that the independence and impartiality of the UCI Licence Commission will not be compromised by the interests of the Katusha and Team Sky World Tour teams, with whom he and Mr Makarov have conflicting interests, were he to become UCI President.
- What assurances has he given Mr Walkiewicz and Mr Makarov in respect of the Presidency he will deliver.
Each and every one of McQuaid’s questions provokes a comment or counter-question. So in the same order as the above:
- Does McQuaid condone Mr Verbruggen’s activities?
- What was the nature of McQuaid’s discussions with each and every member of the Cycling Ireland board? And with each and every national federation president he has visited or who have visited him in recent months “while he was not at all campaigning” because he was “too busy running the UCI”?
- Was Cookson appointed by anybody to investigate such a donation? Or does McQuaid expect anybody visiting anybody to investigate any random allegation? If so, did McQuaid investigate the allegation that Nike paid Verbruggen half a million to hide Lance Armstrong’s “positive” tests?
- Given that the CAS overturned the UCI License Commission decision and sided with Makarov, I would hope that Cookson and everybody else would share Makarov’s anger over the now-disgraced decision from the License Commission.
- Given that both the Russian and the British federation supported McQuaid in the previous two elections, what reassurances can McQuaid give us that such support hasn’t affected his decisions in the past eight years? As I have always said, there are two types of pro teams – those run (indirectly) by federations who vote for the UCI president and those run by private parties who don’t – how is that a level playing field?
- Is this even a sentence? If he means whether Cookson made any promises about what he would do if elected president, it would be good if both candidates would reveal their secret promises. Not just the promises to the national federations for the actual presidential election (Walkiewicz has already hinted at McQuaid offering Makarov a position within the UCI), but also to Cycling Ireland, Swiss Cycling and British Cycling in order to secure their endorsement for their candidacy.