Dutch press agency dpa reports that Astana has requested a four-year ProTour licence from the UCI, up to an including the year 2010.
Contrary to some previous reports, Astana is still running off the licence of Active Bay, the company part-owned by former Liberty Seguros-Würth team manager Manolo Saiz and Astana's predecessor. Saiz's role ceased to exist shortly after his name arose as one of the key figureheads in Operación Puerto, the investigation into an alleged organised doping network in Spain.
As a consequence of a large cash-injection from the Kazakhstan government and several Kazakhstani investors, Astana is believed to have the financial grounding to continue in its current form.
Cyclingnews' recent coverage of 'Operation Puerto'
April 2, 2009 - Valverde indignant over possible suspension
April 1, 2009 - Valverde: Italy requests two-year suspension
March 13, 2009 - Le Monde newspaper hit with fine over Puerto allegations
March 2, 2009 - WADA president Fahey asks for Puerto evidence
February 24, 2009 - Spanish federation seeks access to Puerto blood bags
February 20, 2009 - CONI considers Valverde case while UCI awaits verdict
February 19, 2009 - Valverde under criminal investigation
February 11, 2009 - Valverde summonsed for Operación Puerto in Italy
February 8, 2009 - Eight charged in Operación Puerto