Katusha feeder team RusVelo now risks being refused UCI Professional Continental licence

Licence Committee will hear

by Simon_MacMichael   December 19, 2012  

RusVelo logo

The dispute between Team Katusha and the Russian Cycling Federation on one side and the UCI on the other seems set to escalate into a full-blown crisis tonight with the news that Katusha's feeder team, RusVelo, has had its application for a UCI Professsional Continental licence for 2013 referred to the UCI’s Licence Commission.

RusVelo's application will be heard by the Licence Commission next month, and as yet there has been no confirmation as to whether it is linked to the refusal to grant the senior team, ranked number two behind Sky, a UCI WorldTour licence for 2013, reportedly for ethical reasons and not financial ones as originally thought.

Team manager Viatcheslav Ekimov has insisted that the issues outlined in a Gazzetta dello Sport article this morning are incorrect, however, and that the actual stumbling block surrounds the team's anti-doping poilcy - although some might argue that riders failing doping controls and being implicated in the ongoing Padua investigation in Italy are very much a reflection of that.

Katusha, which is itself by no means certain even of securing a Professional Continental Licence, is taking its case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but with the UCI WorldTour season beginning a month tomorrow with the Tour Down Under, the current uncertainty is already having a knock-on effect with reports that the team will not receive a wild card entry for that race.

Like Katusha, RusVelo, which began racing this season under a Professional Continental licence, comes under the umbrella of the Russian Global Cycling Project, financed by energy billionaire Igor Makarov who is also president of the Russian Cycling Federation, the FVSR, and who sits on the UCI’s management committee.

Last week, the FVSR  unsurprisingly backed Katusha’s stance against the UCI , issuing a very strongly worded statement, and this evening’s news about RusVelo will add to the growing tension between the national federation and the global governing body.

The omission of RusVelo from the list of teams confirmed today as having secured a UCI Professional Continental licence overshadowed the fact that Spanish outfit Andalucia, which raced in September’s Vuelta under a wild card, had been refused a Professional Continental licence for 2013 and has instead been invited to apply for third division UCI Continental status.

There teams confirmed today as having satisfied the conditions for Professional Continental licences, which confers with it the right to apply for wild card entries to WorldTour races, are Italy’s Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox, the French team Bretagne-Séché Environnement, and Chinese outfit Champion System.

Given the controversy over Katusha's problems, the UCI's announcement this evening concludes with the supremely understated sentence: "The Katusha team, initially rejected from the UCI WorldTour (first division), can apply for a place in the second division."

The full list of teams currently in possession of a UCI Professional Continental licence for 2013 is:

Accent Jobs-Wanty (Belgium)

Androni Giocattoli (Italy)
Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox (Italy)

Bretagne-Séché Environnement (France)

Caja Rural (Spain)

CCC Polsat Polkowice (Poland)
Champion System (China)

Cofidis, Solutions Crédits (France)

Colombia (Colombia)

IAM Cycling (Switzerland)

Landbouwkrediet-Euphony (Belgium)

MTN-Qhubeka (AFS)

Sojasun (France)

Team Europcar (France)

Team Netapp-Endura (Germany)

Team Novo Nordisk (USA)

Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise (Belgium)

UnitedHealthCare Professional Cycling Team (USA)

Vini Fantini (Italy)

6 user comments

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There's something far bigger going on here that we aren't privy to.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3053 posts]
20th December 2012 - 0:25

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There is something dodgy going on, I haven't quite figured it out yet, but with Russia having someone on the board of the UCI, I guess the backhanders aren't being paid... Devil

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8775 posts]
20th December 2012 - 2:42

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This definitely has the smell of someone being very pissed off with someone else and getting even.

posted by atlaz [154 posts]
20th December 2012 - 10:54

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Evidence of some sort of team-level doping program?

Makarov getting too big for his boots at the UCI, having a spat with McQuaid, or maybe just looking like a credible threat to the leadership in some way?

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3053 posts]
20th December 2012 - 11:17

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Pat risks becoming the new 'Litvinenko'.


antonio's picture

posted by antonio [946 posts]
20th December 2012 - 12:29

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antonio wrote:
Pat risks becoming the new 'Litvinenko'.

I said as much on twitter yesterday Devil

Just off the phone with the Kremlin, Got my orders, Radioactive attack on Pat McQuaid..Instantly accepted, Don't worry Russia, got your back

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8775 posts]
20th December 2012 - 12:56

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