Astana given deadline for licence withdrawal defence

Following the UCI's recommendation that Astana's WorldTour licence should be revoked, the Kazakh team is given until March 20 to respond

Astana chases on stage nine of the 2014 Tour de France

(Image credit: Graham Watson)

Astana have until March 20 to prepare their response to the UCI’s request to withdraw their WorldTour licence, according to L’Equipe.

The UCI released a statement on Friday (February 27) revealing that the findings of the an audit by the Institute of Sport Sciences of the University of Lausanne (ISSUL) caused them to have concerns over the team’s anti-doping culture, policies and management systems.

In the statement, the UCI said the audit “revealed a big difference between the policies and structures that the team presented to the Licence Commission in December and the reality on the ground.”

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The audit had been one of the conditions of Astana being granted a WorldTour licence in December, while the UCI also claims it has received more information from the Padua investigation which reportedly involves a number of Astana riders.

A statement released by Astana on Friday evening confirmed they had confirmation from the UCI that the audit results had been received and that they would prepare to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport if required.

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“Astana Pro Team will consult with its attorneys to prepare documents and testimony before the Independent License Commission,” the Astana statement read.

“Astana Pro Team will reserve its rights pending due process at the Independent License Commission to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport following the scheduled procedure.”

Astana now, reportedly, have until March 20 to prepare their defence and response, but no date for an eventual hearing has been set.

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