- © RIA Novosti. Vladimir Vyatkin
© RIA Novosti. Vladimir Vyatkin
MOSCOW, February 27 (R-Sport) - Russian Cycling Federation president Igor Makarov said Wednesday he will not challenge UCI president Pat McQuaid and slammed cycling's world governing body as anachronistic and out of touch.
Reports had claimed Makarov would run for the UCI presidency as McQuaid faces criticism over the Lance Armstrong scandal and the collapse of an independent commission to investigate doping.
“No, it’s not true,” Makarov said when asked if he would run.
“I have said many times that I have so many positions and I’m very busy. I’m totally focused on my current work, including the project for the development of cycling in Russia.”
On Tuesday, Irish former rider McQuaid vowed to stay in his post and crack down on doping. UCI presidential elections will be held in September.
Makarov, a member of the UCI's management committee, said McQuaid had too much power in an outdated organization.
“There should be some reorganization. The UCI president is the head of both the union and the management committee. I think it’s not right,” he said. “The UCI's structure is a structure from the last century.”
Makarov said the UCI lacked transparency, highlighting the organization's refusal to allow Russian team Katusha a top-tier license for 2013 on the ground of allegedly deficient anti-doping controls, a decision later reversed by the Court of Attribution for Sport.
The UCI's ruling was made by a commission that included unqualified officials, Makarov claimed.
“Behind the scenes I learnt that this committee included five Swiss citizens who had never ridden a bicycle and they made the decision whether to give or withhold the license. It’s not criticism, but a question," he said.
Makarov rode in the Soviet national cycling team for 10 years and was elected RCF president in 2010.
He is also the founder of the Itera gas company, which sponsors Katusha and has funded various Russian cycling programs for many years.