In response to a call from the International Professional Cycling Teams (IPCT) president Patrick Lefevere to have the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) rule on whether the UCI can sanction riders over participation in Paris-Nice, the court has announced it would rule by Friday evening.
CAS general secretary Matthieu Reeb told Reuters on Thursday, "The international professional cycling teams have asked us to rule before the start of the race so we will make a decision by tomorrow evening at the latest."
Paris-Nice organiser ASO responded to the news, clarifying that the arbitration is only between the teams and the UCI. "ASO Understands and shares the concern of the riders and teams who, under the threat of the UCI, have decided to ask the CAS for an annulment of the ban on participation in the race which was made by the UCI," the organisation's statement read. It reiterated that the decision does not relate to the race organisation, and ensured that the sanctioning of the race by the French Cycling Federation was in accordance with French law.
The ASO statement "welcomed the change of attitude" from the UCI president Pat McQuaid, who indicated on Thursday that he is prepared to revisit the rules of participation for the Tour de France. The UCI's requirement to have all ProTour teams invited to the Tour de France has been a contentious issue since the inception of the ProTour four years ago.
The ASO also hoped that McQuaid would be "prepared to recognize the status of the 'historic' event, Paris-Nice", and would be willing to accept the mediation proposed by the French Sports Secretary, Bernard Laporte.