While there’s been no official announcement from the UCI, according to the Dutch newspaper, De Telegraaf, Astana is set to lose its WorldTour license – following a string of “doping” scandals over the last few months.
Initially, the UCI demurred on the issue of revoking Astana’s license, but according to De Telegraaf, a senior official from the UCI informed the newspaper that the Kazakhstan team can only apply for a Continental license, after the governing body decided to revoke its license on March 20.
Much to everyone’s surprise, Astana was issued a WorldTour license back in December, even though UCI president Brian Cookson raised some major concerns.
After a wave of criticism that followed, for what appeared to be an act of soft-pedaling on the part of the UCI, Cookson responded by saying, “Astana has been drinking in the last chance saloon”.
Last month, the UCI formally requested that its License Commission revoke Astana’s WorldTour license, after an audit by the Institute of Sport Sciences of the University of Lausanne (ISSUL), unveiled many concerns about the team’s anti-doping culture, lack of policies and managerial oversight.
Astana responded to the report by saying, it would fight any attempts to revoke its license, and warned it reserved the right to appeal any decision by the License commission to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The UCI License Commission is scheduled to meet on April 2 to decide on the future of Astana as a WorldTour team.
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