Katusha appeals to sport's highest court over UCI's World Tour exclusion
Verdict expected next week from Court of Arbitration for Sport
Katusha is to take the UCI to court over its decision to deny the team a WorldTour place for 2013, appealing to sport's highest court to attempt to regain its place in cycling's premier competition.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport will be presenting a verdict next week on the team's fate.
Currently the omission of Katusha from the WorldTour means that, assuming it is granted a Professional Continental licence, the team backed by Russian billionaire Igor Makarov, who sits on the UCI Management Committee, it will need to rely on wild card invites to be able to take part in cycling’s biggest races.
The UCI already allocated its quote of 18 team licences before the CAS made its verdict.
The UCI rules state that riders on a non-registered team are free to seek employment elsewhere without penalty. Joaquim Rodríguez, the top-ranked rider in the world and a Katusha member, has already expressed disappointment with the team, and it seems increasingly likely he will go elsewhere for 2014, and perhaps sooner given the UCI's decision.
Last month the CAS denied Katusha temporary registration as a UCI ProTeam, but promised quick resolution to its appeal.
The CAS statement read: "The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has rejected a request for provisional measures filed by Katusha Management SA asking for the temporary registration of its professional team in the 2013 UCI ProTour.
"The CAS will now consider the main appeal of Katusha Management SA which requests that the decision of the Licensing Commission of the UCI of 18 December 2012 concerning Katusha be annulled and that Katusha be admitted to the UCI ProTour for the entire 2013 season. A hearing will be scheduled shortly in order for a final decision to be issued as quickly as possible."