Astana to keep WorldTour licence

The International Cycling Union (UCI) has backed down in its bid to throw Tour de France winner Vincenzo Nibali’s Astana team out of its elite circuit.

The UCI asked its licence commission to revoke the Kazakh-based team’s WorldTour status in February.

This followed a string of positive doping tests at the team and its development squad last year.

But Astana and UCI lawyers met in Geneva on Thursday to agree a deal that sees the team keep its licence.

The main provision is that Astana’s anti-doping procedures will continue to be scrutinised by independent experts at the University of Lausanne.

It means that Nibali is free to defend his Tour de France title and that team-mate and fellow Italian Fabio Aru can race in next month’s Giro d’Italia.

It is not the first time that an appeal of this kind has been successful.

In 2013, Russian team Katusha successfully appealed its lost licence at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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