The Licence Commission today rejected the request made by the International Cycling Union (UCI) for withdrawal of the UCI WorldTour licence granted to Team Saxo Bank on 18 November 2011.
The UCI had lodged a request in accordance with rule 2.15.040 for its Licence Commission to issue a ruling on whether the Saxo Bank team should retain its place in the UCI WorldTour after the Court of Arbitration for Sport decision on February 6, 2012 which included a two year retroactive suspension period on Team Saxo Bank rider Alberto Contador.
The UCI filed the request on the basis that the points obtained by Alberto Contador, representing approximately 68% of the Saxo Bank team's total points, therefore were annulled and without these points his team would not have been considered, and can no longer be considered, to fulfil the sporting criterion required for the UCI WorldTour.
However the Licence Commission, whilst accepting that without its star rider, the team does not reach UCI WorldTour level, today ruled in a detailed decision that the special circumstances of the case, including as outlined above, did not in themselves justify the withdrawal of the licence granted on 18 November.
As the Team Saxo Bank licence expires on 31 December 2012, the team will be required to satisfy all the criteria taken into account by article 2.15.011 of the regulations should it wish to compete again as a UCI ProTeam in 2013.
UCI President Pat McQuaid noted the decision of the Licence Commission: “UCI followed the correct procedure in accordance with the rules. The Licence Commission carried out its work and took its decision in an entirely independent manner and therefore we accept this ruling in a serene manner”.
UCI Press Services