Katusha CAS hearing held today, final decision on WorldTour licence due next week
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Friday, February 08, 2013

Katusha CAS hearing held today, final decision on WorldTour licence due next week

by Shane Stokes at 8:46 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Crucial decision due for Russian team

Joaquim RodriguezThe Katusha’s team battle to be part of the UCI WorldTour this season reaches a new stage today when legal arguments are heard before the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne.

The Russian squad is appealing against a decision by the UCI’s Licence Commission on December 10th, which refused the Katusha’s application for WorldTour licence registration. It lodged that appeal in mid-December.

“Applying to the CAS became a direct consequence of the policy of isolation, pursued by the UCI License Commission, and was made in strict accordance with all law regulations,” it said at the time.

The team tried to secure a temporary licence with CAS in order to ride the Santos Tour Down Under, the first race on the 2013 WorldTour calendar, but this request was turned down on January 10th by the court.

Today’s hearing is consequently its final opportunity to try to step up from the Pro Continental licence it was granted on January 15th.

“The parties and their legal representatives are being heard by the CAS Panel in charge of the matter: Professor Luigi Fumagalli (Italy), President of the Panel, Mr Luc Argand (Switzerland) and Mr Michele Bernasconi (Switzerland),” CAS stated today.

The decision of that three-man panel is expected to be announced next week.

The UCI has indicated that if Katusha is successful, that it will strip another team of its WorldTour place. This too is likely to result in CAS action, meaning that even if Katusha is successful, that the saga could rumble on further.

The Russian squad finished second in the WorldTour standings last year while its leader Joaquim Rodriguez won the overall title. He has indicated that he will leave the team if it is not successful in its battle for the licence, saying that he must ride the Tour de France this year.

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