By Duncan Mackay

Pat McQuaid in IrelandApril 17 - Cycling Ireland's vice-president Anthony Moran has resigned in protest at their decision to back Pat McQuaid for a third term as President of the International Cycling Union (UCI). 

There has also been criticism of McQuaid from Klaus Mueller, President of Cycling Australia, who claimed they would be contacting him about lack of transparency before the election later this year. 

Moran was the only one of the six members of Cycling Ireland's Board to vote against backing McQuaid at a meeting in Dublin last Friday (April 12) after claiming he has grown disillusioned with the sport under his fellow Irishman's control. 

"I honestly thought going into the meeting that it was touch and go for Pat," said Moran.

"I thought it was really split and there was a possibility he wouldn't get the nomination.

"I thought it was a chance for change, for Cycling Ireland to make a statement, but the ringing endorsement the Board gave Pat the other night is a chance for change missed."

Moran, a former professional footballer, became involved in cycling more than 30 years ago but claimed that his enthusiasm has been drained by the constant drugs scandals which have hit the sport, including the Lance Armstrong affair which has left McQuaid fighting to save his reputation. 

Lance Armstrong in time trialCycling Ireland vice-president Anthony Moran claimed he was shocked by the USADA report into Lance Armstrong

"When I read that USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) report into Armstrong last year, that just blew me out of the water," said Moran.

"I haven't watched a professional bike race since.

"I don't go out on my bike anymore.

"I don't coach anymore. I've only just started going to watch local races again, just to get out of the house - it took my love for the sport away.

"Lots of people want to know why I voted against an Irishman, Pat McQuaid.

"But I've lost confidence in professional cycling.

"I've been in the sport as a supporter, rider, coach and administrator for just shy of 30 years now and every few years we're getting a major drugs scandal.

"Every few years.

"It's not just the Armstrong scandal, there's 'Oil for Drugs', 'Operacion Puerto', 'Doctor Mabeuse'...we know about them in cycling but the general public wouldn't necessarily know about them.

"It's just constant drugs, drugs, drugs.

"I've lost confidence in the UCI and consequently I've lost confidence in Pat as leader.

"From a governance perspective, somebody has to take the rap for it.

"Unfortunately, it's an Irishman at the top but there have been too many drugs scandals, too many things going on, too many mistakes made, somebody has to take the blame."

Mueller claimed that he was disappointed an inquiry had not been held into the scandal surrounding Armstrong, which saw the American banned for life and stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after being found guilty of doping throughout his career by USADA.

"My private position is that I am concerned there hasn't been an inquiry held, that it's [been] simply put on the backburner," Mueller told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"The members and public are entitled to know whether the UCI - as it has been alleged by some - has been complicit or turned a blind eye to doping.

"An independent inquiry was originally set up which has now been disbanded, and I would have thought that until there is an independent inquiry to investigate that issue, the public is not going to be able to have confidence that the present administration of the UCI were not implicated.

"That's not to suggest that they were, that's not the position I am taking but it was such a major scandal for so long people are entitled to have some suspicion."

The election is due to take place during the UCI Road World Championships in Florence between September 21 and 29.

McQuaid so far remains the only candidate who has confirmed that they are standing and Irish bookmaker, Paddy Power, has him the 4/1 odds on favourite to be re-elected.

Dick Pound profileFormer WADA President Dick Pound has been a long-time critic of cycling and the UCI

But there are several other intriguing names who Paddy Power are offering odds on, including Dick Pound, former head of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and long-time critic of the UCI who had called for cycling to be dropped from the Olympics because of the drugs scandals, at 12/1 and Betsy Andreu, the wife of Armstrong's ex-team-mate Frankie Andreu, who has publicly accused him of taking drugs, at 66/1.

Neither has publicly expressed any interest in standing in the election. 

Other names in the frame, according to Paddy Power, are three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond, the second favourite at 5/2, Anne Gripper, former head of anti-doping at the UCI, at 20/1, and ex-UCI President Hein Verbruggen at 33/1. 

One name that can probably be discounted in Paddy Power's list, however, is Armstrong, himself, at 100/1.

Muller claimed the key factor was that whoever is elected as President restores the public's trust in the UCI.

"The most important issue is to make sure that there is confidence that the UCI administration was not complicit in misdeeds of the past and if there is an independent finding that they were complicit, that those people be removed from the organisation," he said.

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