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European Commission calls on ASO for explanation

By:
Greg Johnson & Ben Abrahams, with assistance from Susan Westemeyer.
Published:
May 1, 2007, 00:00,
Updated:
April 20, 2009, 21:21
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News for May 1, 2007

The European Commissioner for the Internal Market and Services, Charlie McCreevy, has sent a letter...

The European Commissioner for the Internal Market and Services, Charlie McCreevy, has sent a letter to ASO requesting an explanation of how the race organiser interprets French law regarding the Unibet situation. As reported by Cyclingnews on Friday, the European Commission believes that ASO is acting illegally by denying Unibet participation in its races because of French gambling restrictions.

"You cannot exclude a team from participating in a sport in any given country just because you don't like its sponsor," said McCreevy's spokesman Oliver Drewes.

Unibet has already won a judgement in a Liège court stating that ASO's position violates European law when the team is racing in Belgium. The court ruled that Unibet is entitled to race in its standard jersey and should not be forced to wear the now infamous question mark design used during early season races in France.

Unibet is also entitled to claim damages of five million Euros per day of missed racing, and the team has now sued ASO for 10 million Euros after being refused participation in Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

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