Astana to Keep WorldTour License

Team scrutinized for doping violations

The UCI, bike racing’s governing body, formally requested to withdraw Astana Pro Team’s license in February. (Barcex/Flickr)
Photo: Barcex/Flickr

Tour de France champion Vincenzo Nibali’s Astana team will keep its WorldTour license, according to a Thursday press release from the International Cycling Union (UCI). The decision by the UCI’s license committee will allow the team to continue competing at the highest levels of the sport. 

The team came under scrutiny last year after a rash of doping violations, including two riders testing positive for the banned blood-booster EPO. Astana was subjected to an audit from the Sport Sciences Institute of the University of Lausanne amid calls to ban the team. 

The results of the audit, including revelations that some riders appeared to be maintaining a relationship with banned doctor Michele Ferrari, led UCI president Brian Cookson to seek revocation of the team’s license.

But the license commission did not find sufficient cause to revoke the team’s credentials, and all signs point to Nibali and his team being allowed to defend their Tour de France title this summer.  

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