Astana's fate not sealed yet, decision expected in two weeks

Mon Mar 30, 2015 7:42am EDT
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By Julien Pretot

PARIS (Reuters) - Astana are expecting to learn whether they retain their World Tour (elite) license in about two weeks, a source within the Kakazh-funded team told Reuters on Monday.

Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reported that the International Cycling Union's Licence Commission was to strip Astana, the team of Tour de France champion Vincenzo Nibali, of their license following a series of positive anti-doping tests last season.

"No hearing has yet taken place in the Astana case and therefore no decision has been made," the UCI said in a statement to Reuters.

Astana had until March 20 to submit all documents in their defense to the Commission and are planning to send a team to be heard on Thursday in Switzerland, the source said.

Members of the Kazakh federation, sports directors, riders and the head doctor will travel to the April 2 meeting.

"We've been told it would then take about 10 days, so after Paris-Roubaix," the source said.

The UCI said in February it wanted the sport's licensing commission to strip Astana of their elite status.

Kazakhstan-based Astana were only granted their World Tour license for 2015 "under probation".   Continued...