UCI wants Astana licence withdrawal

The International Cycling Union has requested that Astana, the team of Tour de France winner Vincenzo Nibali, has its World Tour licence withdrawn.

It follows an independent audit and places Nibali’s future in limbo.

The audit was ordered by the UCI after a number of anti-doping infringements by Astana and its feeder team.

The UCI said the reality of the team’s policies and structures

differs from what Astana

told the licence commission during a review last December.

“After careful review of this extensive report, the UCI strongly believes that it contains compelling grounds to refer the matter to the licence commission and request the Astana Pro Team licence be withdrawn,” a

UCI statement 


The World Tour licence guarantees its holder direct participation in the biggest races of the year.

These include the three-week Grand Tours like the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia, and one-day classics such as Paris-Roubaix and Milan-San Remo.

There is no suggestion that Nibali has taken any performance-enhancing drugs but

five Astana riders have tested positive

for banned substances in recent months, all from the team’s home country of Kazakhstan.


The Astana Pro Team was founded in 2007 and is backed by a group of state-owned firms from Kazakhstan

The Kazakh team was considering its response to the announcement.

Nibali became the

sixth man to win all three Grand Tours

– the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana.

The 30-year-old became the first Italian winner of the Tour de France since Marco Pantani in 1998.

Astana said it was aware of the audit results being passed to the commission and that it would “consult with its attorneys to prepare documents and testimony” while reserving the right to appeal any decision to the

Court of Arbitration for Sport.

British road and track racing Paralympic champion Dame Sarah Storey told BBC Radio 5 live: “The UCI said at the time, when they were criticised for giving the licence, that it was a probationary period and ultimately they’re sticking to their word.

“It may prove difficult to withdraw it but they are taking a firm stance on doping.

“They’ve obviously found things in their investigation that they don’t like and that sends out a very strong message to the rest of the professional teams.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cycling/31657795

Comments are closed.

Johnny’s favourite stores