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Cycling Body Adds Katusha Team to Elite Squads After Court Rules

Cyclist Joaqium Rodriguez
Cyclist Joaqium Rodriguez, of the Russian Katusha team, finished second in last year’s Giro d’Italia. Photographer: Jeff Pachoud/AFP via Getty Images

The International Cycling Union added the Russian Katusha team to its list of elite squads after sports top court overuled the governing body’s decision to exclude the team from the Tour de France and other top races.

The decision means that 19 teams will take part in the sport’s top races, the governing body, known by its French acronym UCI, said today in an e-mailed statement.

Katusha, whose rider Joaqium Rodriguez finished second in last year’s Giro d’Italia, appealed UCI’s decision to a three-person panel from the Court of Arbitration for Sport. It ruled last week that the team should get a license for the 2013 season. It wasn’t official until UCI’s Professional Cycling Council ruled today on adding Katusha.

UCI refused the team an elite license in December after a probe by an auditor, giving it a second-tier license that would have limited Katusha to lower-profile races. A CAS hearing was held Feb. 8, and the panel decided to overturn the UCI position. It didn’t immediately release its reasoning.

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