By Katharina Schulz
The Danish Sports Federation (Danmarks Idræts Forbund, DIF) has asked the Danish Cycling Union (Danmarks Cykle Union, DCU) to stop the Unibet.com cycling team from taking part in the Tour of Denmark. The tour, which is one Denmark's most important sporting events, takes place August 1-5, and was won by Fabian Cancellara last year.
Unibet has been excluded from the majority of ProTour events this season, even though it holds a ProTour license, on the grounds that its sponsor – an online betting service - is not allowed to advertise in certain countries due to anti-betting legislation.
However, the rules have not always been applied in such a strict manner in Denmark. "We have had Unibet on board four times already. Three times under the name of Mr. Bookmaker and as Unibet.com last year, and no one has ever said anything," said Jesper Worre, Tour of Denmark race director.
Worre alleged that Tour de France organiser ASO and the International Cycling Union (UCI) are leading their argument about the ProTour at Unibet's cost. "ASO is using the strictness of French advertising legislation for betting agencies as an excuse for opposing the UCI, and that is the only reason why they are taking up the issue here in Denmark."