Unibet.com, the Swedish-Belgian outfit that was at the centre of a controversy earlier this year, has expressed its astonishment to yesterday's statement by Tour de France head Christian Prudhomme. The Frenchman declared yesterday that Unibet couldn't be invited to the Tour because they haven't been producing results.
Not surprisingly Unibet's reaction came quickly and Koen Terryn, general manager of the company, told AFP "he [Prudhomme -ed] always told us we couldn't race because it was illegal. In the ProTour ranking we are 19th. We are ahead of Milram despite only having been able to do about half the races."
Terryn continued that "in a way it pleases us that the juridical reasons aren't cited as the main ones anymore."
The lawyer for the team, Christoph De Preter, stated that it probably wasn't random that the UCI changed their strategy now. "Unibet has communicated the intent of legal action as they can't be seen illegal anymore," referring to the comments by the European commissioner Charlie McCreevy, who called the opinions of the Tour organizers "highly questionable".