Lance Armstrong’s RadioShack team have appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in a bid to win damages for a last-minute snub from the Tour of Lombardy.
RadioShack claim to have been assured of participation in the October 16 event, the ‘race of the falling leaves’ and the final one-day classic of the cycling season.
However earlier this week RCS Sport issued a list of participating teams that did not feature RadioShack. It is the third major snub of the season for the American outfit, who were not invited to the Tour of Spain nor the Tour of Italy.
A statement from the team on Friday read: “In January 2010, an agreement was reached between Team RadioShack and RCS Sport regarding the participation of the US Team at the Giro di Lombardia (Tour of Lombardy) 2010.
“Totally surprised, Team RadioShack learned through the press, on September 6, that it was not included in the list of teams participating at the Italian event.
“Team RadioShack has immediately summoned RCS Sport before the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne (CAS), seeking compensation for damages due to the non fulfillment of the contract between Team RadioShack and RCS Sport regarding the participation in the Tour of Lombardy.”
CAS has been asked to rule on the case as soon as possible.
RadioShack, which is managed by Johan Bruyneel, are one of 18 ‘Pro Tour’ teams and, as such, expect to be invited to all of the season’s top races.
However confusion reigns over the fact that many top races, including the Tour de France and the Tour of Lombardy, have opted not to be part of the International Cycling Union’s ProTour series.
Seven-time Tour de France champion Armstrong, who competed in his final Tour in July, was not expected to race in Lombardy.
Both Armstrong and Bruyneel were recently accused by former team rider Floyd Landis of being involved in doping practices throughout much of the American superstar’s career, a charge both men have categorically denied.
There is no indication that those allegations, which are being probed by federal investigators in the United States, played a role in any decisions not to invite the team.
25 teams for Tour of Lombardy:
Italy: Acqua & Sapone, Androni, ISD, Lampre, Liquigas
France: AG2R-La Mondiale, Bbox, Cofidis, FDJ
United States: BMC, Garmin, HTC-Columbia
Belgium: Omega Pharma, Quick Step
Spain: Caisse d’Epargne, Euskaltel
Britain: Carmiooro, Sky
Denmark: Saxo Bank
© AFP 2010