Shocking proof that McQuaid did bully the teams to get them to Beijing.
On September the 8th, I wrote an article that told of how the UCI had resorted to bullying and coercion in order to ensure that professional cycling teams call off their proposed boycott of the Tour of Beijing.
Not only is this true, but VeloCast has now been given proof that this practice took place and that it was undertaken from the desk of the UCI President himself, Pat McQuaid.
VeloCast has been given a copy of one of several letters sent to the sponsors of ProTour teams – by a source who wishes to remain anonymous. The letter details, in no uncertain terms, exactly what would happen should the cycling team that the company sponsors choose to follow through with any proposed boycott.
In his letter Mr. McQuaid threatens to inform the very highest reaches of the Chinese authorities that the event was to be boycotted. He warned that the Chinese government would take personal offence to this action and that the sponsors’ commercial interests may be damaged in what would no doubt be a valuable and lucrative market.
McQuaid goes on to point out that the word “boycott” itself has connotations of a culturally sensitive nature and that the Chinese people would view this action as an insult.
Furthermore, McQuaid assures the team sponsor that failing to appear at the start line in Beijing would result in a summons from the UCI Licence Commission, wherein the team could lose their race licence and the benefits associated with it. The UCI’s position, McQuaid states, is that the team is, in fact, obligated to attend the Tour of Beijing under the conditions of the race licence.
The letter concludes by assuring the sponsor that it is not normal practice for the UCI to include them (sponsors) in matters that are usually dealt with between the UCI and the team management. However, Mr. McQuaid says that it was crucial that the sponsors be informed of this affair.
Shortly after publishing my previous article I contacted the UCI requesting a response to what were then only allegations. Enrico Carpani, the UCI’s press spokesman replied:
I don’t know from where you got this, but I can only firmly deny UCI took such initiative. We are not used to work on this way. [sic]
If Mr. Carpani is to be believed, this was an initiative that was executed by Pat McQuaid himself with the lower ranks of the UCI completely unaware that is was happening.
When speaking to Dan Benson of CyclingNews regarding the issue of a law suit filed against Floyd Landis for his allegations of corruption at the UCI, 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.
This, incredibly, is the second time I’ve had cause to use this quote. The first was in a previous article which asked readers to conclude, in light of how Global Cycling Promotions was funded and set up, that the GCP – a private, for-profit company – was the damning proof of corruption at the UCI.
However, by using Mr. McQuaid’s comment in this article, it is not to point to the UCI itself being a corrupt organisation. The corruption, coercion, and bullying tactics used on team sponsors to ensure that the teams they finance attend the Tour of Beijing was undertaken by an individual – the President of the UCI, Pat McQuaid. And to attend a race, it must be pointed out, that Pat McQuaid could potentially make money from through his position as a shareholder in Global Cycling Promotions.
In his quote, Mr. McQuaid asks that “if someone wants to say that, they need to stand up and show the proof.” Well, VeloCast has seen such proof and has seen that it comes from the very man who publicly states that he cannot accept that the UCI is corrupt.
What Pat McQuaid does not say, is what should happen when the proof is shown to exist. In my original article I suggested that ‘heads should roll’ for what was done to get the sponsors to put pressure on the teams to race in Beijing. I see no reason to change that position now.