Team Katusha has vowed to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) its exclusion from the WorldTour ranks by the UCI after receiving documentation justifying the decision from the sport's governing body.
Ominously using the same "reasoned decision" phrase employed by USADA to describe the documentation that torpedoed the career of Lance Armstrong, the UCI too announced that it had delivered its decision to the Russian team.
A statement from Katusha said that every objection to the license application was addressed at the UCI License Commission hearing in November.
"All the positions mentioned in this document were considered during held on the 22nd of November 2012 UCI License Commission preliminary hearing. All the information provided by Katusha by its opinion is complete and corresponds the requirements of the UCI License Commission.
"After receiving the above-mentioned document the Russian team Katusha confirms its determination to defend its rights using all civilized ways in order to receive the World Tour license, including the already made appeal to Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)."
Katusha was the number two-ranked team of 2012, and its top rider, Giro d'Italia runner-up Joaquim Rodriguez, the winner of the individual classification for the season.
The UCI did not reveal the order of the top 15 teams in its sporting criteria, which is just one aspect of the WorldTour application process. The teams must further pass requirements for ethical, financial and organisational aspects.
It was expected that two of the teams in the bottom five of the sporting criteria would be left out of the 18-team World Tour - Argos-Shimano and Saxo-Tinkoff were believed to be battling for the last spot after Europcar accepted a Pro Continental license - but in a surprise announcement on December 10, the UCI announced that it was indeed Katusha that had missed out on the top tier.
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