Under-fire cycling team Astana had a meeting with UCI executives last Thursday in Switzerland where the former pleaded for retention of their World Tour license.
Astana has been in the news since the final quarter of 2014 as 5 of their riders failed the doping tests. This led to UCI President asking for the annulment of the team’s World Tour license by UCI’s License Committee. The decision has not been finalized yet and the squad is presently under probation.
In case Astana lose out on their World Tour license, defending Tour France champ Vincenzo Nibali would be denied of the opportunity to defend the title this year in July. Nibali is a star player from the Kazakh team.
UCI initially provided the World Tour race license last year in December under the condition that the squad would cooperate with ISSUL’s study that deals with 2014 doping cases. But after a review of ISSUL report, UCI chief Brian Cookson asked the UCI License Committee for the withdrawal of Astana’s permit to race.
“UCI confirms that UCI representatives, ISSUL & Astana Pro have today appeared before Licence Commission”, revealed a statement released by UCI regarding the Astana issue.
“Since the very proceeding is on hold as of now, UCI would not make any kind of comment regarding the matter.”
World Tour racing license offers access to major international races such as Tour France & big tour of Spain & Italy.
According to statements published from Astana, the Kazakh squad would appeal against any step to withdraw their license. This signifies that Nibali has this chance to defend Tour France title prior to the announcement of any kind of binding decision.
In the meantime, FIC boss has criticized UCI chief of not consulting the UCI Management Committee before recommending License Committee to withdraw Astana’s license.