CAS rules WorldTour licence must be granted to Katusha Team
Earlier today the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) announced it has decided to uphold Team Katusha's appeal of the International Cycling Union's (UCI) decision not to issue a WorldTour license to the Russian team.
"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 WorldTour is granted," CAS announced in a statement issued today.
CAS further said it "did not reach the same conclusions as the UCI Licensing Commission," but decided to postpone the publication of its reasoning for "a few weeks."
In December the UCI Licences Commission refused to grant the Katusha Team the WorldTour licence it had applied for and referred to "ethical grounds" as the reason for its refusal. Instead the UCI awarded WorldTour status to the Saxo-Tinkoff and Argos-Shimano teams , whereas the Katusha team was handed a Professional Continental licence, which allowed the team to race, but did not ensure participation in the leading races included in the WorldTour.
Therefore, the Katusha Team almost instantaneously appealed the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport , asking it to reverse the decision made by the UCI Licences Commission.
The UCI issued the following statement after the CAS decision was announced.
"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."
Commenting on the CAS decision to let Katusha Team obtain UCI WorldTour status, General Manager of the Katusha Team Igor Makarov said "(In past weeks) Katusha Team received a lot of sympathy and support from different circles. Sports officials and the trustees of the Russian Global Cycling Project (Katusha Team) as well as from famous athletes, mass-media and fans."
"On behalf of both the Katusha Team and the whole Project I would like to express our deep gratefulness to all who sincerely empathized, hoped and believed that the justice would be restored."
"This CAS decision is absolutely objective and justified. This proves once again the impartiality of the supreme juridical body of the world of sports (CAS)," Makarov added. Makarov is also President of the Russian Cycling Federation, member of the UCI Management Committee and President of the Board of directors of ITERA.
Related Reading: Katusha's exclusion from the WorldTour and how it may benefit the UCI .