LAUSANNE, Switzerland (VN) — Katusha has taken its argument with the UCI over its WorldTour exclusion to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The Russian squad — which includes the top-ranked rider in the world, Joaquim Rodríguez — was not among the 18 teams granted WorldTour status on Monday.
Without a WorldTour ticket, the squad must rely on invitations from organizers to take part in next season’s major races, including the three grand tours.
Also, UCI rules state that riders on a non-registered team are free to seek employment elsewhere, and without penalty. Rodríguez has already stated that he is unhappy with Katusha and would likely be looking for a new squad for 2014. The UCI’s decision may now accelerate that process.
Following the UCI’s decision Katusha’s management announced that the team would “defend its interests,” including taking the UCI to court if necessary. On Thursday, the team said Igor Makarov, president of the Russian cycling federation and a member of the UCI Management Committee, had contacted his fellow committee members about “the inexplicable decision and unwillingness of the UCI License Commission to communicate the true reasons” for denying Katusha a WorldTour license.
Then, in a terse statement released Saturday, Katusha announced that it had taken its case to the CAS.
“Applying to the CAS became a direct consequence of the policy of isolation, pursued by the UCI License Commission, and was made in strict accordance with all law regulations,” the team announced.