UCI confirms that Astana will keep its WorldTour licence after meeting in Geneva on Thursday, but that it will have to meet strict conditions
The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) confirmed on Thursday evening that it will not suspend the Astana team from racing, but that it has introduced ‘special measures’ by which the team must adhere throughout the rest of the season.
Astana’s licence came under review by the UCI Licence Commission, with representatives of the team and the Institute of Sport Sciences of the University of Lausanne (ISSUL) present at the hearing on Thursday.
Although no specific details were given for exactly what ‘special measures’ have been put in place, the UCI states that the team has agreed to respect them. If it is found to break any of the conditions, then proceedings to suspend its WorldTour licence will recommence.
“On the initiative of the Licence Commission, ISSUL were asked to propose special measures which the Team will be obliged to put in place at specific times over the rest of this season,” read the UCI statement.
“The team committed to respecting all the measures recommended by ISSUL. At the end of the hearing, the Licence Commission announced the suspension of the proceedings.
“In the meantime, the registration for the 2015 season remains in force. However, the Team’s licence is subject to strict monitoring of the conditions laid down. This monitoring will be carried out on the basis of reports transmitted by ISSUL to the Licence Commission.”
Earlier on Thursday, La Gazzetta dello Sport reported that the UCI Licence Commission had decided that Astana should keep its WorldTour licence, but the team’s practices will continue to be monitored.
It has been almost two months since the UCI requested for Astana’s WorldTour licence to be revoked having received the report on an audit of the team by the Institute of Sport Sciences of the University of Lausanne.
Astana were awarded a provisional licence in December under the condition that an audit be carried out on the team, which was embroiled in several doping scandals in 2014.
The audit suggested “a big difference between the policies and structures that the team presented to the Licence Commission in December and the reality on the ground.”
The Licence Commission’s decision will allow Astana to continue racing in the year’s biggest races, with Vincenzo Nibali free to defend his Tour de France title in July.