February 15/13 9:53 am - CAS Returns Katusha to ProTour Ranks
Posted by Editoress on 02/15/13
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has overturned the UCI decision to deny the Russian team Katusha a spot in the first division ProTour ranks. When the decision was first announced, with the UCI Licence Commission denying the Katusha renewal application on unspecified 'ethical grounds', it left the team scrambling, since it no longer had automatic entry to all WorldTour events, and the team was subsequently left out of the Giro d'Italia.
It also led to concerns that the 2012 WorldTour leading rider, Joaquim Rodriguez, might leave the team. Katusha was given a Professional Continental licence, so that it could race while its appeal was heard by the CAS. The CAS did not provide reasons in its decision to restore the WorldTour licence, stating that the reasons would follow.
The UCI has released a statement recognizing the decision of the CAS:
The UCI acknowledges the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decision to uphold the application of Katusha Management SA to be registered as a UCI ProTeam for the season 2013. The appeal to CAS followed the decision of the Licence Commission on December 7, 2012 denying the registration on the basis of the ethical criterion applicable to such registration.
The UCI will now evaluate the consequences of this ruling and will communicate further in coming days, as soon as such evaluation has taken place.
The addition of Katusha creates some technical problems for both the UCI and race organizers, since Katusha will now become the 19th ProTour team. ProTour teams receive automatic entry to all WorldTour events, including the Grand Tours of France, Italy and Spain. This means that either the UCI will have rescind another ProTour licence, or race organizers will have to cut back on their wild card entries (usually for local teams). A third alternative would be to increase field sizes by one team.