McQuaid has truly lost it

Discussion in 'Professional Cycling' started by Bro Deal, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. Bro Deal

    Bro Deal New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    Messages:
    6,701
    Likes Received:
    2
    Here is his speech to the ECU. He stopped one step short of accusing the ASO of buying yellow cake uranium.
    --------
    Presidents and Officials of the member-federations of the European Cycling Union,

    Dear Colleagues and Friends,

    Welcome to this annual meeting of the UEC Congress. As always, it is an honour and a pleasure to address the representatives of our Sport in Europe, west and east, north and south. Cycling is increasingly becoming global and winning new followers year on year. However, only one region in the world is the birthplace of Cycling and the repository of its heritage. And that is Europe.

    All of us in this room are aware that we live in momentous times. Since we know each other very well allow me to dispense with pleasantries and get to the point… with brutal frankness.

    Yes, these are troubled times. Our Sport is faced with a clear and present danger. Never before in the history of the International Cycling Union – the worldwide federation of federations— has the institutional foundation of our sport been threatened in the way it is today.

    And yet, we stand divided…

    Divided, hesitant and unaware of the lethal nature of the challenges that we face.

    Therefore, I cannot stand before you today with a “business as usual” attitude. It is my duty to present to you the grave issues at hand and the enormous stakes at risk. I will do so, as you know I always do, in clear and plain language.

    It is also my obligation to advise you about UCI’s position in this conflict, formed in strict compliance with its Constitution and its Regulations. Which I will also do so in unmistakable terms.

    And finally, as head of the Governing Body for Cycling worldwide, it is appropriate that I brief you on the stance that UCI will take in this crisis. It will be, in a nutshell, the only possible one: We as an organization, and I as its President, will fulfil our mandate.

    One word keeps resonating in my mind lately. I think it’s time to say it out loud: The word is

    Enough!

    In the last two years, those who have opposed UCI at every turn have justified their actions with a smokescreen of false pretences.


    • They have misrepresented the facts and played on the good-will of many members of the cycling community to proclaim that their only interest is the regeneration of the sport and its future glory…
    • They have discredited the individuals and organizations that defend the principles of fairness and open competition.
    • They have undermined each and every effort made to consolidate a stable framework for the Sport’s professional elite segment to ensure its appeal to riders, teams, sponsors and broadcasters as a source of genuine passion for millions around the world.
    • And they now even seem to be willing to undermine the great progress achieved in the fight against doping, embodied by the Biological Passport initiative, by not paying their contribution.
    Let there be no mistake about who I am referring to. These accusers have a name:

    Amaury Sports Organization… A. S. O.

    Before going on, I should confess here that I have been too prudent, too patient… some of my closest associates would say I might have even been naïve.

    Despite the arrogance and the provocations; despite the breaches of agreements…

    I made efforts to keep the dialogue open, to accept mediation, to avoid burning bridges…

    Dialogue with many parties may have been difficult –even tense—at times, but it has been honest and ultimately productive. As a result, we have reached meaningful solutions for issues with all members of the cycling family… except for one: ASO.

    By deciding to run the Paris-Nice race outside the UCI rules of participation, ASO have crossed the line of what is legal, what is proper and what is fair.

    If successful, they will attain their main objective: a total shift in the balance of power in cycling:


    • From sport to business.
    • From human effort to financial performance.
    • From the quest for victory to the pursuit of profit.
    Never mind that up to now, ASO’s proclamations have defied credulity. Now, they’ve decided they can defile the integrity of Cycling through their actions.

    But those actions expose them. The agenda behind ASO’s relentless attitude of refusal to accept anything but their own conditions –their own business imperatives— has finally come into clear focus.

    Look at the contract that ASO proposed to the teams for their participation in Paris-Nice.

    This is what they mean by regenerating the sport!

    This is what they mean by protecting the legacy of some of the world’s greatest races!


    • A draconian contract by which the riders and teams have all the obligations and no rights.
    • A carte-blanche to expel any rider or team, at any time, for even the suspicion, rumour or misconduct.
    • Criteria for participation based solely on personal invitation,
    • An admonishment to remain silent, to forgo any criticism under threat of immediate exclusion…
    In summary, one very clear message: “Put-up and shut-up… or get out”.



    These most recent events have only one upside. They have once and for all torn down the façade behind which ASO has been hiding its true intent. It is now crystal-clear to all that the merchants will stop at nothing in the pursuit of their exclusive financial interests.

    A History professor I met recently at a social event explained to me three key steps in any conspirator’s manual for a successful coup d’état:


    • Take control of the Media” --which in today’s world would extend to the broader multimedia space.
    • Disband the Institutions, revoke the laws and…
    • Secure the Treasure”
    The similarities to ASO’s methods in its grab for power are striking.


    • Step One –the “Media”— is already achieved through cross-ownership of some print media, with ramifications in broadcast, internet, etc.
    • Step Two –repealing the law—is currently at the height of its execution, and…
    • Step Three –taking full control of the enormous economics behind the business of cycling—is the final goal.
    Let’s not fool ourselves. ASO and their allies are not about the improvement of our Sport.


    • They are about definitively turning it into a business category, driven solely by maximum financial gain.
    • They are about creating and controlling an economic cartel –actually a conglomerate—among the so-called “Monument” races that no longer responds to the traditions and heritage built up over decades in each of these races but only to a management board.
    • And they are about having the power to force every other actor of the Sport –the riders, the teams, their Sponsors, the federations, the broadcast groups and the general media—to accept exactly the formula that, every season, in every race, will generate more cash.
    Unaware. Hesitant. Divided. I used those words at the beginning of these remarks.

    Yes, sometimes I fear we are not totally conscious of the magnitude of the challenge that is being cast at our feet.


    • If we cave in to the wishes of whom I call the merchants, we will be signing the death warrant of elite cycling as we know it.
    • It will cease being a sport where the interests of riders and teams are balanced with those of sponsors, broadcasters and all the different players that have a legitimate stake in it.
    I said also that we have been hesitant. We felt that by being prudent we were leaving open the door to acceptable compromises for all.


    • But our adversaries have mistaken discretion for weakness.
    • This is a serious mistake.
    • As trustees of the mandate given to UCI by the federations, we have the resolve to carry out our obligations to the fullest extent.
    And we are divided…

    Today, here, in this room, sits a Federation president that has chosen to throw its support behind the Paris-Nice in the new form that its organizers have imposed

    It is difficult for me to witness how the steward that has received the trust of the entire French Federation would take the route of de facto secession to support a private concern. I can not understand how this attitude might preserve the interests of all the constituents of the French Cycling Federation.

    And I am saddened when one of our member federations seems unable –or unwilling—to withstand the pressure of economic and political power.

    M. Pittalier: Let me make one final appeal to you and your federation today. I make it from the bottom of my heart both as President of the UCI and as a former cyclist…


    • Please reconsider the path you are taking.
      • Please do not mistake defending France and the traditions of French sport with protecting a business that happens to be French but could be from anywhere else. Money has no nationality.
      • Please correct the misconception, apparent even in the Government of your country that the UCI is against France and wishes to destroy the Tour and other legacy races.
    The so called “Monuments” of French cycling –the Paris-Roubaix, the Tour-- have been kidnapped and will ultimately become a travesty of their former glory if profit and the blind laws of the market prevail over the values of sport.

    And I ask all of you to equally reflect deeply and sincerely on these issues. We have a collective duty here today, and in upcoming days, weeks and months. It is to preserve, to protect and enforce the rules of our Sport. They are there to ensure fairness. They can be changed, of course, through a thoughtful, legal and democratic process… They can be adapted to new demands, to new opportunities… But they can not be thrown out when they cease to serve the interests of just one party.

    The UCI is prepared to live up to this duty. And I am personally committed to the two core elements of the mandate I was given when elected to preside our organization:


    • Ensure a return to the highest standards of Governance, cohesion and future development for Cycling around the World, and…
    • Fight without quarter against the scourge of doping in our sport.
    The difficulties of this mission carry a significant toll. I am no longer a popular man in many circles.

    But these last events have only strengthened my resolve. I am not only committed. I am totally dedicated to this task.

    I will not allow a full-fledged aggression of our Organization.

    I will continue ensuring that UCI’s resources apply –rigorously but fairly—the full weight of our regulations.

    I have said ENOUGH!

    I ask you to say the same here today and act in consequence.

    Thank you.
     
    Tags:


  2. Leafer

    Leafer New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Messages:
    317
    Likes Received:
    0
    er, Pat, the death of elite cycling as we know it is kinda the whole point.
     
  3. TheDarkLord

    TheDarkLord New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Messages:
    3,887
    Likes Received:
    0
    I thought it was the UCI that refused to even talk to the mediators? And what the UCI is doing is not "lust for power"??? McDumbass is full of horseshit.
     
  4. Crankyfeet

    Crankyfeet New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    Messages:
    10,821
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is everyone here blinded by their love for ASO, and their bitterness at the UCI? If cycling becomes controlled by a sports promoter, unlike any other sport in the Olympics, or any other major sport, you can just kiss it's ass goodbye. Pro cycling to the sport of cycling will become the same as pro wrestling to the sport of wrestling. It will become a renegade show. Yes the sport needs promoters, and they need to have a profit incentive, but they don't get to administer the sport.

    You guys bleat about the farking doping cheaters, and how it ruins the integrity of the sport. If ASO are running things, forget about integrity.

    We need to fix UCI, not hand the sport over to businessmen.
     
  5. Cobblestones

    Cobblestones New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Messages:
    592
    Likes Received:
    0
    This sounds like something which could have come out of the Fuhrerbunker in the early days of 1945 (and since I don't say this about someone else's post, you cannot invoke Goodwin's law here).

    Where are the Belgian, Italian, Dutch, German, Swiss and Spanish federations in this? I thought I read somewhere that at least some of those federations support the French cycling federation.

    ETA: apparently, the teams are trying to force a decision between ASO and UCI by appealing to the CAS A decision is anticipated for Friday.
     
  6. kennf

    kennf New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2004
    Messages:
    609
    Likes Received:
    0
    Don't know, but Steve Johnson of US Cycling has come out in support of UCI in this (maybe not necessarily this speech). Doesn't seem like we're hearing much from the big name retired racers. You'd think Armstrong would come out swinging against ASO, but then, maybe he can't stomach supporting the UCI either.
     
  7. Bro Deal

    Bro Deal New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    Messages:
    6,701
    Likes Received:
    2
    [​IMG]
    " For us there are only two possiblities: either we remain UCI or we come under the thumb of the ASO. This latter must not occur; even if we are small, we are a force. A well-organized group can conquer a strong enemy. If you stick close together and keep bringing in new people, we will be victorious over the ASO."

    "As Fuehrer of cycling and Chancellor of the UCI, I can thank God at this moment that he has so wonderfully blessed us in our hard struggle for what is our right, and beg Him that we and all other nations may find the right way, so that not only the UCI but all Europe may once more be granted the blessing of peace."
     
  8. Bro Deal

    Bro Deal New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    Messages:
    6,701
    Likes Received:
    2
    What Johnson said sounded like it was written by the UCI. I swear when I was reading it I was thinking he must have taken a UCI e-mail and slightly altered it.
     
  9. Leafer

    Leafer New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Messages:
    317
    Likes Received:
    0
  10. Aquamarinos

    Aquamarinos New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    Crankyfeet, at least someone here is thinking rationally.... Kudos for you!
     
  11. Bro Deal

    Bro Deal New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    Messages:
    6,701
    Likes Received:
    2
    The UCI needs to get rid of McQuaid and Vedruggen. They are incompetent and their reign has been an unmitigated disaster. As long as those two are in charge there will be severe problems.

    The other possibility is to break away from the UCI and set up an equivalent organization that just handles the pro side of the sport.
     
  12. kennf

    kennf New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2004
    Messages:
    609
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is all like watching two countries escalate before going to war. All we need is some "shoving" incident involving Leclerc or McQuaid in Sarajevo.
     
  13. Cobblestones

    Cobblestones New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Messages:
    592
    Likes Received:
    0
    No, I see the potential problems just as well when ASO takes over professional cycling. However, right now, at this point in time, potential problems down the road take the back seat compared to the very real problems we have right now. The real problem is that UCI is incapable of governing the sport. How did, for example, Astana get a pro license for this year? This should never have happened. It's a disgrace. ASO is just reacting to this kind of bullshit which comes out of the UCI offices. At present, I feel the the commercial interests of ASO have a better overlap with the sport of pro cycling than the (not very clear) interests of UCI (whatever they may be). In general, (and this is the same Cranky is saying), the UCI needs to be fixed, right now, to have a working governing body of cycling. I wonder whether a coalition of the great national cycling federations (France, Italy, Netherlands, Belgia, Spain, possibly Germany) could bring about such change and overthrow the Verbruggen old boys. Alternatively, pressure could come from the other end (IOC), but I'm not holding my breath there.
     
  14. poulidor

    poulidor New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2006
    Messages:
    1,464
    Likes Received:
    0
    Crancky,

    There is no reason for ASO to control the sport. Never forget that cycling is not only road cycling...
    But road cycling races need authority agreements. Sport in France is ONLY regulate by federations . That is similar in almost all countries in Europe so the power will stay to federations.
    For exemple football in France is still regulate (pro or amateurs) by french federation.
     
  15. Drongo

    Drongo New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    316
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm backing Cranky on this one. Not backing the UCI, mind you.

    For everyone to run to loving embrace of the ASO is idiocy. They care for themselves alone; to think otherwise is to delude oneself.

    That said, McQuaid has lost it. He criticises the arbitrary expulsions of teams and riders but then arbitrarily destroys the careers of VDB, Sinkewitz, Hamilton, Botero (but not Millar) even after they have served their time. One form of despotism for another.

    His ramming through the ProTour, rather than amending it so that both sides might accept it, is his idea of leaving open the door to acceptable compromises for all.

    **************
    Incidentally, I thought the idea floated by someone else of paying the PT teams, rather than the other way around, was a good one. Cf. the English Premier League, which has a strict promotion/relegation system, and where the teams in the league share some of the broadcasting rights money. When a team is relegated they lose out on a whole bunch of cash (meaning they usually have to sell of players), so the incentive to do well at every opportunity is always there.

    Perhaps you could still retain the financial and organisational requirements (so that teams don't collapse mid-season, and pay riders), but a cash incentive would be a powerful way of encouraging that.
    **************

    It wasn't just the Reichskanzler who had fiery speeches:

    Even though large numbers of European races and many old and famous Monuments have fallen or may fall into the grip of the ASO and all the odious apparatus of its rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the mountain passes and climbs, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength on the cobblestones, we shall defend our sport, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight in the media, we shall fight in the courts, we shall fight in the commentary boxes and on the internet, we shall fight on Cyclingforums; we shall never surrender...
     
  16. whiteboytrash

    whiteboytrash New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2005
    Messages:
    5,402
    Likes Received:
    0
    Not sure you all understand. The problem being is that no one in either UCI or the ASO are elected. Well the UCI president is elected by the heads of the federations (select number of the federations mind you - hence why you see teams in the World Champs with disproportionate representation). Now if the riders could vote with weighting (like the rural weighting voting system in Australia where a vote from the rural areas would count for 1.1 votes) along with vote from the team managers for the UCI president you'd see a change in attitude from the UCI and in their focus. Couple this with representation a rider and team manager on the board then you have a fair and equal voice for all. Problem being the UCI just decide what ever. They cobbled together the ProTour at the expense of the great events. They allowed drug use to continue and allowed certain riders to get away with positive tests.

    What ASO is trying to do now is to free cycling. ASO have no interest in governing the sport. Once they get the sport away from UCI then they can form a government for sport for the sport. If the UCI keeps control we'll continue to see what we've seen in the past 40 years of the sport. Bullshit.

    Riders complain now that they cannot get contracts longer than a year and this forces riders to dope. Now why haven't the UCI ensured they riders are protected with better and longer-term contacts ? Why haven't they ? Because they don't really care. What the riders care about is the races not the UCI. The races will always survive because the riders will want to race them not race under the UCI. Simple.
     
  17. Frigo's Luggage

    Frigo's Luggage New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,249
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree and disagree. I don't like the idea of the promoters having all of the power. However, the only fix I can see for the UCI is to eliminate the whole thing and start from scratch.

    There should be one governing body that sets the rules. There should be one rule enforcement body that is separate and distinct from the governign body. There should be a third organization that acts as the promoter for the sport. Right now the UCI is trying to do all of these things and there is an inherant conflict.
     
  18. cuervo

    cuervo New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2004
    Messages:
    374
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well said !!!
     
  19. doctorSpoc

    doctorSpoc New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    1,488
    Likes Received:
    4
    McQuaid HAS truly lost it... but he's damn right!

    ASO has no intererest or ability to enhance the future and integrity of our sport... you think it's bad now imagine how the sport will be went it's completely fractured and struggling to survive with every federation, every promoter vying for themselves... every pormoter turing our sport into a circus trying to make a buck... the wild wild west. As bad as the UCI might be they are the governing body of our sport and they actually have the interest of the sport as a sport in mind... maybe they may be misguided at times, maybe sometimes even corrupt but they do much more good than bad... the UCI needs to be restuctured yes, but dimantling it with no contingency for what will replace it WILL be the final nail in the coffin for cycling.

    i'm fully on side with the UCI and McQuaid on this one... this is our sport we are talking about here and ASO needs to get bitch slapped and put in their place in a BIG way... this is WAY over due! McQuaid's finally found his balls.

    you guys who think that ASO is on the right track need to get a frigg'n brain transplant in a big way... and fast! get you heads out of your asses!
     
  20. Crankyfeet

    Crankyfeet New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    Messages:
    10,821
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think your idea this is the best solution. The events still need to be blessed by official sanctioning... and the year round anti-doping efforts need to be coordinated by UCI probably, but the problem with UCI is that they answer to the National Federations, who elect them, but the pro scene has a lot of stakeholders with much more invested than the National Federations.

    I agree with you that we need an official organization that has participation from all the stakeholders. Problem is that either party, or whoever wins this battle, is not going to cede control to a new organization that diminishes their own power. The best chance to have something created that is better than either the UCI or ASO is to do it now when each party realizes they have a lot to lose in an all-out war.

    The UCI needs to get subsidized in its role carrying out anti-doping. Random tests all over the world cost money to perform.
     
Loading...
Loading...