The Court of Arbitration for Sport has reportedly reversed a UCI rule which has prevented Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) from accumulating points toward their team's WorldTour status. According to El Pais, the decision was made on October 11.
In 2011, the UCI imposed the rule which would prevent riders from accumulating UCI points toward their team's overall ranking - a classification used to award places for the WorldTour - for two years after returning from a doping ban. The court decided that the rule amounted to an additional punishment for the same offence, which was counter to the World Anti-Doping Agency code.
Bjarne Riis, manager of Saxo-Tinkoff, struggled to compile enough points to make the sport's top tier for 2013, despite Contador winning the 2012 Vuelta a España, because he had just returned from a ban and the UCI would not count his points, which made up more than half of the team's total. He took the case to CAS, and was joined in the matter by Movistar manager Eusebio Unzue, who had similar issues when Valverde was banned retroactively in 2011.
Under the UCI rules, Contador could not accumulate points until August, 2014, while Valverde's would begin to count in January, 2014.
Valverde is third in the UCI WorldTour rankings, a result which would net him 100 points toward the UCI sporting value. Contador ended the season below his teammate Roman Kreuziger, in 15th overall.
While the greater success of Saxo-Tinkoff in 2013 - they ended sixth overall in teams - might mean Contador's points are less important, both Spaniards may still be able to parlay the CAS decision into better contracts or new teams.
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