The UCI Management Committee created Global Cycling Promotion (GCP) in September 2009 in order to support its globalisation strategy for road cycling. This represents another step forward in the reform of the discipline, a process initiated in 2005.” page 198 of the 2010 Rapport Annuel UCI
So Global Cycling Promotions is a UCI company. Not, as some may have it, a completely separate entity that just happened to have UCI President, Pat McQuaid as one of the Directors. Bit of a give-away, really, when the company’s registered address is c/o the UCI, 1860 Aigle.
In the recently-published UCI Financial Report for 2010, Global Cycling Promotions is listed as an “Independent Unit.” In the org chart diagram, lines of communication are drawn all the way from the services branches of Administration and Communication, through the general management ranks, up to President, and on to the Congress at the top. But the Cycling Anti-Doping Centre (CADF), the World Cycling Centre (WCC) and Global Cycling Promotions (GCP) are drawn separately, and listed as independent units with no structural connection to the UCI itself:
Does this mean that GCP truly acts and functions independently of the UCI, given that it was the UCI Management Committee that set the company up and the current UCI President is a director (Alain Rumpf is the poster boy who appears in the report in the GCP section)?
In the actual number-crunching section of the financial report, Global Cycling Promotions are mentioned only once. It is in this one mention that probably will raise the eyebrow of many. €445,000 of the ProTour Reserve Fund were used by GCP in 2010. 177,000 CHF the year before. This amounts to a substantial amount of money that has gone into the coffers of a private company that has no seeming accountibility to the UCI. There is no mention of a contingency to pay this sum of money back.
It is also worth remembering that it is the teams themselves who pay the significant portion of the income for the ProTour. The teams’ contribution was €1,350,000 while the UCI itself stumped up €453,000. Or put it another way – what the UCI put into the ProTour, they promptly removed again to give to the GCP. So for the UCI, the ProTour costs nothing. What’s more, UCI President Pat McQuaid will personally benefit from profits made by GCP at the Tour of Beijing.
So what is the UCI to GCP? Have the UCI set-up banking services for anyone that fancies going into the business of race organizing? If this is a private company, whose legal purpose is to put its shareholders in profit, then the governing body of cycling shouldn’t be handing out cash to set such things up – especially when it is key personnel with the UCI who will directly benefit from its dividend-making status.
As I say above, there is nothing to suggest that the UCI will get get this money back. The UCI Management Committee created Global Cycling Promotions, have given it substantial working capital, and allowed its President – among others – to directly profit from its generosity.
When interviewed by Daniel Benson of CyclingNews over the UCI’s supposed plan to sue Floyd Landis, Pat McQuaid said:
“I will not accept that the UCI is corrupt or has ever been corrupt. I just will not accept that. If someone wants to say that, they need to stand up and show the proof.”
I will come back to this quote again in a future article. However, it should be noted that corruption does not denote illegality. There will be nothing inherently illegal in the way Global Cycling Promotions has been set up or is being run.
But ask yourselves, is there a “lack of integrity” at play? Has there been a “willingness to act dishonestly in exchange for money?” Certainly when the teams were contributing money to the ProTour they were doing so to fund the existing ProTour calendar and not the GCP. The question that arises here is – were the team managers informed of the decision to take a substantial amount of money from the ProTour surplus in order to fund GCP? Sources from three ProTour teams have confirmed that they were not consulted over ProTour funds being used to set up and run Global Cycling Promotions.
Was there any “undue influence” in the creation of Global Cycling Promotions?
When the UCI Management Committee allowed Pat McQuaid and others to be involved in Global Cycling Promotions, was this an act of “cronyism” or “influence peddling?”
Was there “collusion” in not following a tendering programme and allowing the market to decide who would should organize the Tour of Beijing?
If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” then there is “corruption” at the UCI and the proof is Global Cycling Promotions itself.