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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 June, 2005, 17:30 GMT 18:30 UK
IOC criticised for cycling change
Chris Hoy in action in the kilometre
The president-elect of cycling's governing body has blamed the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for changes to the Olympic programme.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) was asked by the IOC to withdraw two events to make space for BMX races.

The kilometre - previously won by Chris Hoy and Jason Queally - and the women's 500m track race have been scrapped.

"It's up to the IOC to change this decision," said Pat McQuaid. "It cannot be changed by the UCI."

Irishman McQuaid, who takes over the UCI presidency in September, accepted a 10,000-strong petition objecting to the decision but insists aggrieved cycling fans should direct their ire at the IOC and not the UCI.

"They (the IOC) came to us 18 months ago asking for the inclusion of BMX," he added.

"We agreed to that and knew we'd have to drop two medals to accommodate BMX.

"It was the IOC who told us to exclude track events, not road, because the women's 500m, for instance, was only introduced at Sydney."

The kilometre was thought to be untouchable as it has been part of the Olympics since the inaugural Games in 1896 and its loss has been described as "devastating" by Hoy who succeeded Queally as champion in 2004.

But McQuaid believes the event does not have the appeal of others in the track programme.

"As well as the survey we did our own analysis of the TV figures and found that the kilo and the 500m were not as strong as other events," he said.

"You've got to realise that each federation votes in its own interests. Those countries that don't have any specialists in the kilo voted against the kilo. It's a speciality of just a few, big nations."




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20 Aug 04 |  Cycling


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