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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Cycling: McQuaid unopposed for second term as UCI president

Associated Press

GENEVA Pat McQuaid will stand unopposed for a second four-year term as president of cycling's governing body, clearing the way for his bid to join the International Olympic Committee in October.

McQuaid said Tuesday that his election which must be confirmed at the International Cycling Union's (UCI) annual congress in September would show the sport was uniting after years of conflict.

"It is a vote of confidence from the national federations around the world," McQuaid said in a telephone interview. "I'm happy that I don't have to fight what could be a divisive campaign over the next couple of months and I can concentrate on developing a program for the next four years."

The federations will meet Sept. 25 during the road race world championships at Mendrisio, Switzerland one week before the IOC begins its session at Copenhagen where it can elect new members.

McQuaid has been nominated for membership to the IOC, which has a quota of 15 seats for leaders of international sports federations.

At least three of those places will be vacant in voting at the Oct. 1-9 meeting, after members have chosen a host for the 2016 Summer Games from Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro or Tokyo.

"I feel it would be important that I would be in there to support the sport," McQuaid said. "It's to ensure that our four disciplines (road, track, mountain biking, BMX) stay within the Olympic program."

The UCI won praise last month from IOC president Jacques Rogge for introducing the pioneering biological passport scheme to lead cycling's fight against doping.

McQuaid said building a more complete anti-doping strategy would top his new agenda.

"That will be in the form of education, and other strategies relating to the ethics of the sport," he said. "That is something I want to start developing."

The Irishman accepted that disputes including with Spanish authorities over the blood-doping case known as Operation Puerto, and organizers of the Tour de France had hampered the UCI's work in his first term.

"It didn't give me adequate time to fulfill a lot of objectives and hopefully I will be able to do that in the coming years," he said.