Pat McQuaid's hopes of re-election as President of the International Cycling Union (UCI) have been dealt a further blow after Swiss Cycling confirmed it has withdrawn its backing of the embattled Irishman.
The U-turn comes on the eve of a hearing, which has now been cancelled, of a legal challenge launched against the nomination.
"The director of Swiss Cycling committee returned to the decision of 13 May 2013 concerning the appointment of Pat McQuaid and decided yesterday to withdraw the appointment of Pat McQuaid for his re-election to the Presidency of the UCI," the federation said in a statement.
"As a result, the request for arbitration by three members of Swiss Cycling is cancelled, since there is no reason [to continue with it]."
McQuaid, whose original backing from his own federation in Ireland was revoked earlier this year, now has to rely on controversial nominations from Morocco and Thailand that are likely to be challenged under Article 51 of the UCI constitution, which dictates that candidates should receive nominations from their "home" federation.
However, as reported by insidethegames, McQuaid yesterday claimed that lawyers have ruled his nomination is constitutionally within the rules.
Meanwhile, McQuaid's only challenger for the most powerful position in world cycling, Brian Cookson, said this latest development places "further question marks" over the legitimacy of McQuaid's other nominations.
"This latest development is of real significance to the Presidential election process," he said.
"It leaves Mr McQuaid in a very difficult position, particularly when viewed alongside his failure to receive a nomination from his own national federation as required under the constitution of the UCI.
"It also places further question marks against his other 'nominations' whose validity is in serious doubt and remain a matter of genuine concern to many in the cycling world.
"No attempts at manipulation and legal bluster can take away the doubts and questions.
"The important principle in any democracy is that you must respect the rules as they are, not how you'd like them to be.
"My hope remains that we have a democratic process based on the rules of the race when it started rather than those made up half way through."
McQuaid hit back saying that Cookson "will not escape an election where voting delegates decide the outcome of the UCI Presidential election" despite "attempts to discredit and overthrow him".
He also insisted that he has adhered to the UCI rules at all times.
"My other nominations from the Thai Cycling Association and the Féderation Royal Marocanine are valid and were all received in accordance with the UCI rules by the designated closing date," McQuaid said.
He added that it was unclear how the Swiss Cycling retraction had come to light.
"This was apparently a snap decision in the face of mounting pressure from the company who financed the challenge to my Swiss nomination and whose actions threatened to condemn the Swiss Cycling Federation to financial ruin had it proceeded to an arbitration hearing and lost," McQuaid claimed.
"I would remind Brian Cookson and his campaign supporters that the UCI Congress will ultimately decide who should lead the UCI for the next four years.
"Federations all over the world want me to stand for re-election.
"I am standing as a candidate for re-election.
"That is not going to change.
"I am calling on Brian Cookson and his campaign supporters to accept that and to put an end to their concerted attempts to refuse the congress a choice between two candidates."
The UCI Presidential election is scheduled to take place in Florence on September 27.