June 16 - Pat McQuaid has suffered a further devastating blow in his campaign to win a third term as President of the International Cycling Union (UCI) after another member of the Management Committee publicly said that he no longer supports the Irishman.
Mike Plant, the former President of USA Cycling, claimed the the UCI was at a "critical turning point in the history of our sport, and strong, credible leadership has never been more important".
On Friday (June 14) Plant had delivered a damning dossier on McQuaid's handling of the Lance Armstrong scandal at the UCI's Management Committee meeting in Bergen - but only after McQuaid had tried to block it.
"I have been asked by a number of media outlets to provide information about our recent UCI Management Committee meeting and my actions during an executive session at the conclusion of the meeting," Plant told insidethegames.
"Since that portion of the meeting was in a closed session of the members, I will not answer questions about what has transpired, however, I believe it is time to make my views public.
"I can no longer support the current President of the UCI."
Plant, former director of the Tour de Trump and Tour DuPont - the biggest American stage race in the 1990s, had said last November that he supported McQuaid but that he wanted a return to "creditability".
It now appears that he does not believe that can happen under McQuaid.
"In private discussions with the UCI President and fellow members of the UCI Management Committee, I have made my reasons, findings and concerns clear to him and my colleagues," said Plant.
"This is a critical turning point in the history of our sport, and strong, credible leadership has never been more important.
"The impact of the decisions being made today will be felt for generations to come.
"What the sport of cycling needs most at this crucial time in its history is to be guided by a consistent set of values.
"This isn't a time for self-interest; this is a time for doing what is in the best interest of the sport.
"That's my primary objective for the sport I have been a part of for 40 years.
"I learned long ago that ethics and integrity cannot be situational; they must be constant and unwavering."
Plant's decision to go public with his lack of support completes a bad weekend for McQuaid.
Yesterday at Cycling Ireland's Extraordinary General Meeting in Dublin a motion to back McQuaid's nomination for the UCI Presidency was defeated 91 to 74.
It means that he must rely on a nomination from the Swiss Cycling Federation but that too is hanging in the balance after three members lodged a legal challenge that has forced the organisation to set-up a panel. to decide whether the decision will remain.
It has considerably strengthened the position of Brian Cookson, President of British Cycling, who announced earlier this month that he will stand against McQuaid at the UCI elections in Florence in September.
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