Unibet withdraws legal action against Giro organisers

Green Cycle Associates AB, managing company of the Unibet.com ProTour team, announced Tuesday that...

Green Cycle Associates AB, managing company of the Unibet.com ProTour team, announced Tuesday that it would no longer pursue legal action against Giro d'Italia organisers RCS Sport as the Milan court judgment would not be made until the end of May, thus having no effect on the team's Giro participation.

However, the team still considers its Giro exclusion unfair and said in a statement that "Green Cycle Associates AB and its sponsors were obliged to review their position and are contemplating new actions to see their rights honoured."

The Unibet.com team was also excluded from Tirreno-Adriatico in March with RCS citing its lack of authorisation to do business in Italy as the reasoning behind the decision. Unibet.com then obtained the appropriate authorisation from the Autonomous Administration of State Monopolies (AAMS) and was allowed to start in Milan-San Remo shortly afterwards on March 24.

"The discriminatory restrictions imposed upon the team are extremely clear," said the team's general manager Koen Terry. "Green Cycle Associates AB is the only team sponsored by a gaming and betting operator that actually is licensed in Italy and it is excluded to compete in RCS races."

Terry went on to say that other ProTour teams sponsored by gambling companies, such as Française des Jeux and Predictor-Lotto, did not have the aforementioned AAMS licence but faced no hurdles competing in Italy.

The team was also excluded from Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège for similar reasons although a court in Liège ruled that Unibet was entitled to compete in Belgium and should be paid five million euros in damages for each race missed.

The team first encountered problems at the GP d'Ouverture La Marseillaise in France and now races under the name of its bike sponsor, Canyon.com, in all French races.

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