Yes, Yes Yes!

27 September 2013 Comments 11

Massive congratulations to Brian Cookson on his election in the last hour as the new President of cycling’s world governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI).

Congratulations too to the voting members who have given cycling the sort of opportunity we at SKINS, the pressure Group Change Cycling Now and millions of fans across the world have been demanding.

I wish Brian all the very best in his new – and very responsible – position. It’s a massive job because cycling is on the floor and the man he has replaced simply wasn’t up to the task.

Pat McQuaid’s time was up. He mismanaged and manipulated his way through his tenure which is exactly why we stood so firmly against him over the last 12 months or so.

I’m proud that, through SKINS, we kept the pressure on him to reflect the mood of fans across the world. Pat certainly didn’t like it and he tried everything he could to divert people away from the criticisms that were almost endlessly coming his way in an attempt to save his job, including targeting me personally.

The thing Pat clearly didn’t realise in the final months that lead up to the election, was that the more determined he got to rebuff the criticism and accusations of malfeasance, the more determined we all were to drive home the message.

Brian Cookson’s election is a massive shot in the arm for world cycling and I’m delighted we were in some way, a part of getting him through the door.

Our public involvement began in October last year when I wrote an open letter to Mr. McQuaid calling for immediate support for USADA or for him to resign. Unfortunately for cycling (and himself), Mr. McQuaid failed to do either.

The Lance Armstrong affair brought a series of allegations of mis-management by Mr McQuaid and his predecessor Hein Verbruggen, including suggestions that they covered up positive tests provided by Lance Armstrong before the turn of the century in order to protect cycling’s prized asset. At this time, there was a genuine air of denial emanating from the Presidential offices and it was the catalyst for our approach and, I think, the beginning of the end for Pat.

He didn’t like the open letter very much and he certainly didn’t like it when we also revealed SKINS had sent a letter of demand to the UCI for damages to our brand through our investments in cycling. Again, Mr. McQuaid failed to act appropriately.

Next came the creation of Change Cycling Now and support from three times Tour de France winner Greg Le Mond and a host of stakeholders, former riders and media representatives. The meeting in London was very successful and the subsequent press conference was attended and reported on by many. The impact of CCN was immediately measured by the message we received straight after the press conference that had been carried ‘live’ by international broadcasters. Within minutes, the UCI Independent Commission that had been set up to investigate the UCI’s handling of the Lance Armstrong affair asked CCN for it’s assistance with their work. In the subsequent 6 weeks, as the Commission strengthened its intention to act wholly independently, Pat McQuaid unilaterally disbanded it. It was clear, the Commission’s intentions had ‘spooked’ him but the very act of disbanding a group he had promised would get to the truth was telling in itself. No-one else was party to the decision and single-handedly, Pat McQuaid put an end to the Commission’s work. It proved that the intention for the ‘independent’ Commission had clearly been anything but.

The route towards endorsement for re-election was a farce too. Pat McQuaid manipulated the Irish and the Swiss to try and garner their support. Consequently, we supported disenfranchised Swiss federation members when they sought to take the issue of an irregular Swiss nomination process to arbitration. SKINS funded the costs of their action, and under increasing media scrutiny and public pressure, the Swiss federation withdrew their support for Pat. Meanwhile the Irish finally voted against him when their endorsement, which had been ratified by a small number of board members and also challenged, was forced to a democratic vote.

Despite the last minute twists and turns of a desperate man seeking to change the rules, it’s now all over. When we started our journey, our aim was to oust Pat McQuaid from his position as President of a sporting body he had abjectly failed to serve with the sort of integrity expected of such high office. Now it has happened and I feel a sense of achievement in the knowledge that the weight of our determination may have made a difference.

The UCI voters have confirmed we were right to make a stand and I’m delighted. Brian Cookson’s election is the latest moment whereby the power of reason and the determination of the willing has given sport a life line.

If SKINS has played its part, then I’m delighted. A sport that we, as a company still believe in, now has a chance to restore integrity and confidence after suffering through a damaging period of malfeasance and corruption.

Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together?

11 comments on "Yes, Yes Yes!"

  1. Skippy on 27 September 2013

    Congrats on the success of your efforts !

    YOU have LED and even PAID out to reinforce your decision to ” grasp the nettle “! You have every right to consider yourself the EQUAL of the 42 ” Voting Delegates “!

    NOW we can look forward to your success with Ben Johnson in EDUCATING those that constitute the “brains ” at the IOC !

    With your success here , they will want to listen to your proposals .

    YOU are providing those on the edge of a SPORTING CAREER with the real HOPE of a ” DRUG FREE CAREER!

    WELL DONE SIR !

  2. Evan Shaw on 27 September 2013

    YES a thousand times yes!
    Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now!

  3. Mike on 27 September 2013

    Eureka! But what chance the Greek bribery allegation was another dirty trick from McQuaid supporters hoping to plant grounds to contest the election if it went the way it has.

    Notice McQuaid has already changed his stance. From saying he would walk away if beaten, according to Ben Rumsby on twitter he is saying he intends to remain in the sport…

  4. Samantha Bailey on 27 September 2013

    I’ve watched your path over the last 12 months with real interest Jaimie and am overcome with pride that you have pursued your passion for clean sport with unwavering determination, despite what has been thrown at you. I can’t wait to see what you have in store next!
    To get ’em xxx

  5. Neil E-M, UK on 27 September 2013

    Jamie, Greg Le Mond, Skins & Countless Others, Congrats – a ‘simple’ thank you from a cycling & other endurance sports fan. Please can you help get equity from female sports too: For the sake of my daughters’ and there daughters’ generations. Cheers.

  6. MrPhysio+ on 28 September 2013

    Any one, or group, willing to fight hypocrisy, cheating and deception must be supported. The world is desperately short of people willing to take an uncompromising stand against manipulators, and even less endowed with people that have the wherewithal to do so successfully. Well done Jaimie and Skins.

  7. real velo on 28 September 2013

    Thank you for your time and funding.
    The UCI have become ludicrous and unfit for purpose.
    Pats bar in Thailand has a big ring to it.

  8. Keith B on 28 September 2013

    Well done Jamies and Skins

  9. Lincoln Chrysiliou on 7 October 2013

    Great result mate – glad to see your (and SKINS) efforts have returned positive results!

  10. Pauly on 21 October 2013

    Interesting perspective for someone who follows Armstrong on twitter. Armstrong does not communicate, cooperate or assist on cleaning up cycling and he has information which can help. Until such time that he does, he should be shunned and you should not silently overlook this and stop following him. I love skins products but will not buy products from companies who endorse or support this unrepentant man

    • Jaimie Fuller SKINS Chairman on 18 November 2013

      seriously? you judge me based on those i follow on twitter
      bizarre. i won’t bother commenting further