Exclusive: Italy boss and UCI at odds over Astana

Tue Mar 31, 2015 12:34pm EDT
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By Julien Pretot

PARIS (Reuters) - The Italian federation (FIC) and the International Cycling Union (UCI) have clashed over the handling of the Astana case and the row could mean Vincenzo Nibali will be deprived of a Tour de France title defense.

In a letter sent on March 27, that Reuters has obtained a copy of, FIC president Renato Di Rocco queried why the management committee was not consulted by Brian Cookson before the UCI chief asked the Licence Commission to withdraw Astana's license for recent doping scandals.

"In all the mentioned cases (Olympics, women cycling) we, as management committee members, have been directly involved," Di Rocco wrote. "However, concerning the Licence Commission withdrawal of Astana this procedure was not followed.

"On Feb. 27 we had received only a press release which informed us the UCI requested the withdrawal of the Astana pro team (World Tour) license."

Cookson responded in a letter, that Reuters has also obtained a copy of, later on Tuesday to explain that due processes were followed.

"All the necessary procedures (were) complied with correctly under the Constitution," he wrote.

"At all times in this important and urgent matter I have taken the advice of the UCI legal services and ensured I had the support of the executive committee and, where appropriate, the management committee."

Astana are expecting to find out in around two weeks if they will retain their elite license.   Continued...