Katusha receives CAS date for crucial WorldTour licence hearing
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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Katusha receives CAS date for crucial WorldTour licence hearing

by Shane Stokes at 7:25 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Russian squad to argue case on February 8th

KatushaA month into the 2013 season, the Katusha team has finally learned when it will be able to fight for its WorldTour licence. The team has confirmed that the Court of Arbitration for Sport has set a date of February 8th for the hearing, which will determine whether the team must race as a Pro Continental team in 2013 or will be able to return to the top level.

The Russian squad finished second overall in the WorldTour team rankings for 2012 and had the top rider, Joaquim Rodriguez. However on December 10th it was unexpectedly turned down for a licence.

The team was not impressed, criticising both the decision and a delay in finding out what the reasons were. “The total silence from UCI and absence of reasons for Team Katusha’s 2013 professional license refusal completely undermines the image of the UCI, the organization,” it said, “whose activity is supposed to be aimed at the development and promotion of cycling in the world…an important part of which is the Russian professional cycling team Katusha.”

La Gazzetta dello Sport subsequently reported that the area in question was that of ethics.

On December 15th it stated that it had filed an appeal before CAS. It was hoping to have a declaration prior to the first WorldTour race, the Santos Tour Down Under, but on January 10th the court rejected its bid for a fast-track hearing.

It subsequently received a Pro Continental licence from the UCI and was able to ride the Vuelta a San Luis as a result.

The team is likely to get invites to many top races but lacks guaranteed entry to the WorldTour races at present. Tour de France organisers ASO overlooked the squad for Paris-Nice and the Criterium du Dauphiné, while RCS Sport did not grant it entry to the Giro d’Italia.

The team’s top rider Rodriguez has admitted that he is considering offers from other teams, but stated that he won’t make a decision until after CAS rules on the licence. He has said that riding the Tour de France is highly important for him, and that he is determined to take part this year.


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