The UCI is standing firm behind its decision to cull from the Beijing Olympics the men’s kilo and the women’s 500m time trial.
Last week, a petition containing 10 679 names was handed to Pat McQuaid, the UCI’s president elect, by the editor/publisher of BikeBiz.com and track rider Julie Dominguez.
In a full page article in the UK’s Cycling Weekly magazine, published yesterday, McQuaid said he was "livid" at finding himself in what Cycling Weekly called "the centre of an embarrassing controversy."
He told Cycling Weekly that his comments, made at the handing over of the petition at the UCI’s HQ in Switzerland, were "off the record".
In a blistering phone call to BikeBiz.com editor Carlton Reid earlier this week, McQuaid changed this claim. He said: "In my mind it was off the record."
He had made explosive comments about the fury of the Beijing Olympic committee, and the inability of the Chinese cycling federation (its best hope of a cycling gold was in the women’s 500m) to find more trackies in a country of billions of cyclists. This week he admitted he had been "naive".
His claim from last Thursday that the International Olympic Committee had demanded it was to be track events culled and not road events was swiftly denied by the Switzerland-based IOC.
Were the UCI to re-run the survey asking which two cycle events should be culled from the Olympics, there would be no opposition from the IOC.
It is BikeBiz.com’s understanding that there are no IOC rules saying the UCI cannot reverse its event deletion decision. The UCI’s decision to drop certain events is not subject to IOC’s executive approval. It’s just "two in, two out." The International Olympic Committee would accept any cull decision from the UCI, the current one or any future one.
The current decision was taken after a March 2005 survey of 24 national cycle federations.
It’s believed many federations voted to exclude the road time trial with only a small proportion voting for the exclusion of the kilo. However, some of the federations surveyed said they were asked to vote on all existing events, and were not told that any votes for a road event would not be counted.
Internal UCI documents, seen by BikeBiz.com, show that the UCI had already decided it would be track events culled from the Olympics, not road. So, the inclusion of road events on the March survey calls into question the validity of the survey’s results.
Despite many requests from national cycle federations, the UCI has not so far published the survey questions or the full results.
McQuaid refused to be drawn on vote rigging claims, telling Cycling Weekly that "all the federations gave track options."
"It is incorrect to say that the majority called for road events," he said.
This comment seems to indicate road events were on the March survey.
It is time for the UCI to come clean. If the organisation has nothing to hide, it will publish the survey questions in full and the results in full. It should also publish the cull survey emails sent by Hein Verbruggen, UCI president, to the six federations which supplied not just survey answers but in-depth reports on which events should be culled.
Openness is supposed to be enshrined in the UCI’s ‘rules of good governance’. The organisation is meant to meet the "strictest criteria in terms of transparency" and "democracy."
If the UCI hopes to ride this one out, as it has ignored complaints in the past, perhaps the 10 679 who signed the petition in the eight days it was online might like to email their own national federations to see what, if any, questions are being asked of the UCI?
There’s a list of federation email contacts below. Many of the federations have told BikeBiz.com privately they are already exerting pressure on the UCI and would welcome other federations joining in.
The UCI’s ‘rules of good governance’ state that the UCI is "solely competent to represent the interests of 170 [national federations], which it is made up of. In all its actions, the UCI endeavours to respect the interests of each one and of all [national federations] which are affiliated to it."
If track fans get answers from their national federations, please let BikeBiz.com know. We’ll keep a tally.
If your national federation is not on this list, try the address list on the UCI website:
DUTCH ANTILLEAN CYCLING FEDERATION:
ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA AMATEUR CYCLING ASSOCIATION:
BERMUDA BICYCLE ASSOCIATION
CYCLING FEDERATION OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
BELIZE AMATEUR CYCLING ASSOCIATION:
FED. BURUNDAISE DE CYCLISME
BELARUSSIAN CYCLING FEDERATION
FEDERACION BOLIVIANA DE CICLISMO
CONFEDERACAO BRASILEIRA DE CICLISMO
BAHRAIN CYCLING ASSOCIATION
BRUNEI DARUSSALAM CYCLING FEDERATION
BULGARIAN CYCLING UNION
CANADIAN CYCLING ASSOCIATION
CAYMAN ISLANDS CYCLING ASSOCIATION:
FEDERACION CICLISTA DE CHILE
CHINESE CYCLING ASSOCIATION
FEDERATION CAMEROUNAISE DE CYCLISME
FEDERACION COLOMBIANA DE CICLISMO
FEDERATION COMORIENNE DE CYCLISME
FED. COSTARRICENSE DE CICLISMO
FEDERACION CUBANA DE CICLISMO
CYPRUS CYCLING FEDERATION
CZECH CYCLING FEDERATION
DANMARKS CYKLE UNION
FED. DOMINICANA DE CICLISMO
FED. ECUATORIANA DE CICLISMO
ERITREAN NATIONAL CYCLING FEDERATION
FED. SALVADORENA DE CICLISMO
REAL FEDERACION ESPANOLA DE CICLISMO
ESTONIAN CYCLISTS UNION
NATIONAL ETHIOPIAN CYCLING FEDERATION
FIJI CYCLING ASSOCIATION
THE CYCLING UNION OF FINLAND
FEDERATION FRANCAISE DE CYCLISME
FED. GABONAISE DE CYCLISME
BUND DEUTSCHER RADFAHRER Ev.
HELLENIC CYCLING FEDERATION
FED.GUATEMALTECA DE CICLISMO
FEDERATION GUINEENNE DE CYCLISME
GUAM CYCLING FEDERATION
GUYANA CYCLING FEDERATION
FEDERATION HAITIENNE DE CYCLISME AMATEUR
HONG KONG, CHINA CYCLING ASSOCIATION
NACIONAL DE CICLISMO DE HONDURAS
HUNGARIAN CYCLING FEDERATION
INDONESIAN CYCLING FEDERATION
CYCLING FEDERATION OF INDIA
ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN CYCLING FEDERATION
ISRAEL CYCLING FEDERATION
VIRGIN ISLANDS CYCLING FEDERATION
FED. CICLISTICA ITALIANA
JAMAICA CYCLING FEDERATION
JAPAN CYCLING FEDERATION
KAZAKSTAN CYCLING FEDERATION
KENYA AMATEUR CYCLING ASSOCIATION
KYRGYS CYCLING FEDERATION
KOREA CYCLING FEDERATION
SAUDI ARABIAN AMATEUR CYCLING
LAO CYCLING FEDERATION
LATVIAN CYCLING FEDERATION
LIBYAN CYCLING FEDERATION
ST. LUCIA CYCLING ASSOCIATION
LEBANESE CYCLING FEDERATION
LITHUANIAN CYCLING FEDERATION
FED. DU SPORT CYCLISTE LUXEMBOURGEOIS
ASSOCIATION DE CICLISMO DE MACAO, CHINA
FED. ROYALE MAROCAINE DE CYCLISME
MALAYSIAN NAT. CYCLING FED.
MOLDAVIAN CYCLING FEDERATION
FEDERACION MEXICANA DE CICLISMO
MONGOLIAN CYCLING FEDERATION
FEDERATION MALIENNE DE CYCLISME
MALTA CYCLING FEDERATION
FEDERATION MONEGASQUE DE CYCLISME
KONINKLIJKE NEDERLANDSCHE WIELREN UNIE
PAKISTAN CYCLING FEDERATION
UNION CYCLISTE DE POLOGNE
FED. PORTUGUESA DE CICLISMO
CYCLING ASSN. OF THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF KOREA
CYCLING SOUTH AFRICA
FEDERATION CYCLISTE DE LA RUSSIE
CHINESE TAIPEI CYCLING ASSOCIATION
CYCLING ASSOCIATION OF ZAMBIA
ZIMBABWE CYCLING FEDERATION