Astana is surely going through a rough phase of late- the once-powerful World Tour team is now anxiously waiting to know whether at all it would be to retain the license to race at World Tours.
The result would be declared within 2 weeks.
The consistent doping scandals involving Astana riders compelled UCI to ask its License Commission to hold back the Kazakh team’s license for World Tours. It even led to a clash between FIC & UCI when the former complained that the latter did not consult the management committee while directing the license withdrawal for Astana. Reigning Tour France champion Vincenzo Nibali is an Astana rider and if Astana is denied of the license the defending champion might not be able to defend his title at this year’s Tour de France.
However, UCI has stressed that nothing is final until the License Commission sits for a meet soon. The meeting is scheduled for 2nd April at Switzerland and would be attended by a delegation from Astana including members of Kazakh federation, riders, sports directors & Astana’s head doctor. Astana was asked to submit every document in its defense by March 31.
“We have been informed that it will take around ten day. Thus, we are hopeful to know the decision post Paris-Roubaix”, stated a source from Astana.
Astana’s license for this year is presently under probation as UCI had declared to strip the team of it’s elite status.
But then again, one of the recent statements from UCI that was released on February 27, noted the governing body wants to withdraw Astana’s license post the reviews Astana audit that was carried by ISSUL.
The license for WORLD Tour permits the holders straight-away participation in top races which include Tour France, Paris-Roubaix classic & the Giro d’Italia.