Katusha wins CAS appeal over WorldTour licence, UCI ruling overturned
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Friday, February 15, 2013

Katusha wins CAS appeal over WorldTour licence, UCI ruling overturned

by Shane Stokes at 5:23 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Rodriguez’s team set to rejoin others in top league, will another team be dropped?

Joaquim RodriguezTwo months and five days after it was originally turned down for UCI WorldTour licence, Katusha’s battle to overturn the December 10th UCI Licence Commission’s decision has been won. The Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne has today announced that it has upheld the appeal and said that the team will now join the others in the UCI’s top league for the remainder of the season.

“A CAS hearing was held on 8 February 2013 during which the parties and their representatives were heard by the CAS Panel in charge of this matter: Professor Luigi Fumagalli (Italy), President of the Panel, Mr Luc Argand (Switzerland) and Mr Michele Bernasconi (Switzerland),” CAS announced.

“In its deliberations following the hearing, the CAS Panel did not reach the same conclusions as the UCI Licensing Commission and decided to uphold the appeal. According to the CAS decision, the application of Katusha Management SA to be registered as a UCI ProTeam for the season 2013 of the UCI World Tour is granted.”

It said that the full grounds for the ruling would follow ‘in a few weeks,’ at which point in time CAS’ decision will be fully explained.

Before then, though, the team will be able to take part in the next WorldTour races, with the next of those being Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico. Both take place in early March. The team had already been given a wild card for the latter, but was turned down for Paris-Nice.

Katusha filed its CAS appeal on December 20th and has waited a month and a half for today’s decision, missing the Santos Tour Down Under in the interim. It was granted a UCI Pro Continental licence on January 14th and has been able to compete in races such as the Tour de San Luis and the Tour of Oman.

Its top rider, Joaquim Rodriguez, won yesterday’s Green Mountain stage in the latter event.

The UCI is yet to react to today’s news. It had previously said that the number of WorldTour teams would be limited to eighteen and that it would drop another team as a result. If this indeed takes place, this too could result in a CAS challenge from whichever disgruntled squad is stripped of its lience.

The alternative for the governing body is to negotiate with WorldTour race organisers to accept a nineteenth team in this year’s races. If so, those organisers may in turn need to drop a wildcard squad or to reduce team roster numbers by one in order to avoid increasing the overall number of competitors in those events.

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