Training session by Russian bicycling team Katusha (RIA Novosti/Mikhail Mokrushin)
Uncertainty over the Russian Katusha cycling team continued Tuesday after they were denied a 2013 Giro d’Italia wild card as race organizers issued invitations to other teams.
The three available extra slots were given to Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox, Colombia and local team Vini Fantini-Selle Italia, despite Katusha’s top rider Joaquim Rodriguez claiming overall second place in last year’s race.
The international cycling union, the UCI, refused to give Katusha a 2013 World Tour race license citing the team’s sub-standard anti-doping program.
The ruling means Rodriguez and Co. risk missing the Giro, the Vuelta a Espana and the Tour de France, and must now rely on wild card invitations from the Grand Tour events organizers.
The team has filed an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which has the power to overturn the UCI’s decision.