CYCLING'S world governing boss Pat McQuaid has stepped down from an International Olympic Committee role citing time constraints.
Besieged by criticism for his management of cycling's unfolding doping crisis, McQuaid has stepped down – reportedly voluntarily – from an IOC commission where he was to evaluate host bids for the 2020 Olympic Games.
The IOC announced the move for McQuaid, who is in the midst of grappling with doping scandals throughout the sport and allegations that the UCI helped cover up Lance Armstrong's serial doping.
According to a Reuters report: "It was a problem of time for him.
"McQuaid could not make all three visits in March (to the bid cities) so he excused himself."
The IOC panel will visit Istanbul, Tokyo and Madrid in March before reporting on the Olympic host bidders before the winning city is announced in September.
Patrick Baumann, the secretary of basketball's international federation, has replaced McQuaid, the president of the Union Cycliste Internationale, on the IOC panel.
McQuaid's UCI predecessor, Hein Verbruggen, is an honorary member of the IOC and remains the honorary of the UCI. A staunch defender of Armstrong during and after his tenure as UCI boss, Verbruggen is under extreme pressure – particularly over the evidence presented in the US Anti-Doping Agency's findings against Armstrong that the ex-cyclist failed a doping test at the 2001 Tour of Switzerland that was covered up.
In his selective confession to serial doping last week, Armstrong maintained that he never tested positive – and specifically denied the allegations regarding the Tour of Switzerland. His ex-US Postal Service teammate Tyler Hamilton, however, maintains Armstrong told him personally that he tested positive at the race in 2001 but that the result never surfaced. Hamilton testified to that effect in his sworn affidavit to USADA.
After Armstrong denied the matter last week McQuaid responded swiftly via-a statement saying that the UCI had been exonerated from cover-up claims.
The UCI has confirmed it received a six-figure donation from Armstrong, but Armstrong – who said repeatedly last week he is “not a fan” of the UCI – says he only made the donation because the UCI asked him to.
In recent days Verbruggen has described to Dutch press how the UCI warned top cyclist when they were close to testing positive to banned substances.