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Sports

Astana retain license despite doping scandals

In a remarkable turnaround, Astana cycling team has retained their race license for the year after a meeting between team representatives and the UCI. This comes despite a number of doping scandals.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) said on Thursday that Kazakhstan cycling team Astana will retain their World Tour status, ensuring their entries to all top races.

"The license commission shall be able to re-open the proceedingsif Astana Pro Team fails to respect one or several of the conditionsimposed, or if new elements arise," the UCI said in a statement.

Reasons for the panel's decision "will be published in due course," the statement continued. Astana management did not immediately respond to the ruling.

Despite a series of doping scandals, the UCI have granted the government-backed squad, one that includes Tour de France champion Vincenzo Nibali.

At the end of February, the UCI had demanded the team be stripped of its license which would have barred them from the main races, including the Tour de France as well as the Tours of Italy and Spain.

However, following a meeting between representatives of the two sides on Thursday, an independent commission agreed to allow Astana's bikes on the road.

jh/tk (AP, dpa)

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