USA Cycling and four other national federations want sport's highest court to make a ruling on whether Pat McQuaid should be allowed to stand for re-election as president of world cycling's governing body.
McQuaid is using nominations from Moroccan and Thai federations to bid for a third term as UCI president after failing to secure support from his home Irish federation or Switzerland, where he lives.
USA Cycling and cycling unions in Russia, Canada, Finland, and Algeria are proposing that the UCI asks the Court of Arbitration for Sport for a "definitive and binding ruling" on whether more than one country can nominate a candidate.
"Many of our members and stakeholders have inquired about these machinations and have asked what (if anything) can be done to ensure that the upcoming election is not only open and fair, but also actually legal and will not be contested in the courts after it is completed," Steve Johnson, president and chief executive of USA Cycling, said Monday in an open letter.
"At this point, USA Cycling and many other federations believe the answer is neither to sweep all the procedural challenges under the carpet nor to leave these questions open, but rather to obtain a final, incontestable decision in advance of the elections."
Johnson said CAS arbitration would ensure the election "is not conducted under a cloud of doubt."
British Cycling President Brian Cookson is challenging McQuaid for the presidency and his lawyers have questioned whether McQuaid's candidacy meets UCI rules ahead of the Sept. 27 poll. Cookson has also raised concern that UCI staff may have breached protocol by helping Malaysian officials draft a rule amendment allowing any two member countries to propose a candidate and to apply it retroactively for the current contest.
McQuaid's reputation has already been damaged by the fallout from the Lance Armstrong doping affair and revelations of an endemic culture of doping in recent years.