Phonak in ProTour after CAS verdictClose
Phonak have been allowed into the ProTour for the next two seasons following a ruling released by thPICTURE BY TDWSPORT.COM A ruling released this afternoon (Tuesday) by the Court for Arbitration in Sport (CAS) in Lausanne has resulted in the Phonak team being given admission to the ProTour for the next two seasons. In a statement on its website, the CAS confirms that it has partially granted an appeal by the ARcycling AG management company that oversees Phonak, effectively overturning the International Cycling Union's licensing commission's decision to bar the team from cycling's elite level circuit. Phonak had been appealing for the right to a four-year ProTour licence. However, after hearing representations from both sides on January 18, the CAS has only granted them a two-year licence. The UCI's licensing commission rejected Phonak's ProTour application at the tail-end of last year on three points: the existence of positive results of anti-doping tests concerning some of the Phonak riders; the unethical attitude of the team; and the failure to comply with the UCI regulations concerning some riders' image contracts. The CAS ruled that although Phonak's Oscar Camenzind had tested positive for and admitted use of the blood-booster EPO before the November 12 deadline for ProTour applications, the same cannot be said of positive tests for blood doping involving Tyler Hamilton and Santiago Perez. According to the CAS: "While respecting the will of the UCI to be strict in the fight against doping, the CAS arbitrators have considered that it was not possible, at this stage, to remove the Phonak team from the Pro Tour on the sole basis of doping suspicions concerning the two riders and before knowing the outcome of the disciplinary proceedings regarding them." The issue of sporting ethics was resolved in a similar way, with the CAS stating "that the objections retained by the UCI against Phonak could not be taken into consideration, as they had not been raised by the UCI Licence Commission in its preliminary opinion of 12 November 2004, the date on which the teams' files had to be finalized. Finally, for procedural reasons, the CAS has also rejected the objections related to some contracts of Phonak riders." The CAS ruling concludes with a reminder that "according to the UCI Regulations, a withdrawal of the licence is possible at any time in case of non-compliance of one of the criteria established for the granting of such a licence."