The UCI says a decision will be made on Astana's WorldTour licence by next Wednesday 10 December following its Licence Commission’s review of Alexandre Vinokourov's team. Its name was missing from a list published today of those that have been granted licences for next year.
The Kazakh outfit has been involved recently in a series of drugs scandals, with two members of the WorldTour outfit and three riders belonging to its under-23 development squad failing anti-doping controls.
Last week, Tour de France champion Vincenzo Nibali said he remained committed to the team despite the review into its management and anti-doping policies, announced by the UCI in October.
That followed the Iglinskiy brothers, Maxim and Valentin, both testing positive for EPO during August, with under-23 rider Ilya Davidenok, who had joined the senior squad as a stagiaire the same month, testing positive for a banned steroid.
Subsequently, two other riders from the development squad have also tested positive for steroids.
Together with French team Europcar, which will be losing its title sponsor at the end of next season, Astana is one of two of 18 WorldTour teams still awaiting a licence for the 2015 season, which begins next month with the Santos Tour Down Under.
The 15 teams now confirmed as being in possession of a valid WorldTour licence for 2015, including Switzerland's IAM Cycling which steps up to the sport's top tier, are:
AG2R LA MONDIALE (FRA)
BMC RACING TEAM (USA)
ETIXX–QUICK STEP (BEL)
FDJ (FRA) IAM CYCLING (SUI)
LOTTO SOUDAL (BEL)
MOVISTAR TEAM (ESP)
ORICA GREENEDGE (AUS)
TEAM CANNONDALE-GARMIN (USA)
TEAM GIANT-ALPECIN (GER)
TEAM KATUSHA (RUS)
TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO (NED)
TEAM SKY (GBR)
TREK FACTORY RACING (USA)
The UCI also confirmed the list of second-tier Professional Continental teams that have been ranted licences; two outfits, Denmark’s Cult Energy Pro Cycling and Italy’s Yellow Fluo, are yet to be granted licences and again a decision will be made by 10 December and communicated afterwards.
The teams in possession of a 2015 Professional Continental licence are:
ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI (ITA)
BARDIANI CSF (ITA)
BORA-ARGON 18 (GER)
BRETAGNE-SECHE ENVIRONNEMENT (FRA)
CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA (ESP)
CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE (POL)
COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CRÉDITS (FRA)
DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING (AUS)
MTN-QHUBEKA (RSA) NIPPO-VINI FANTINI (ITA)
TEAM ROOMPOT (NED)
TEAM NOVO NORDISK (USA)
TOPSPORT VLAANDEREN-BALOISE (BEL)
UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM (USA)
WANTY-GROUPE GOBERT (BEL)
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.