Monday, 2 April 2012

Saxo Bank Keep Licence - Rightly.

The Licence Commission have rejected the UCI's request to withdraw Team Saxo Bank's WorldTour licence, preferring not to punish the team at the hands of Alberto Contador. Pat McQuaid and the UCI went for the jugular after banning Contador for 2 years (backdated) and stripping him of his results for taking a banned substance because Alberto Contador was responsible for more than two thirds of the teams points needed to secure a WorldTour licence for 2012, which was issued in November 2011 before Contadors case was dealt with. I believe this to be the right decision...

The whole team wasn't responsible for the actions (or supposed actions) that Contador took during the 2010 Tour de France. Contadors case wrongly dragged on for 18 months at the hands of the UCI and CAS, the final verdict wasn't as damning as it could have been, in fact much of it was circumstantial but we are not debating Contadors guilt here. The UCI issued Saxo Bank with a licence before concluding the Contador case which should have ended a year earlier - the UCI are therefor in part to blame, at least that's how I see it.

If it's a case of numbers and sticking to the rules, then Saxo Bank probably should have had their licence revoked, they wouldn't have had the points required to keep the licence - however this is the UCI, they make rules to break rules and after the recent Kolobnev fiasco (see here) I have to ask why the UCI want to stick to strict rules in one case and go someway to breaking and re-writing them in others, this stinks of personal vendetta to me, and Saxo Bank rider Karsten Kroon clearly agrees - refering to the original Contador conviction as 'criminal' he also said "Listen, a month after his positive control in the Tour of 2010, Alberto was personally called by UCI President Pat McQuaid, who told him he wanted to keep that quiet. But then it was leaked by the German television.” Eventually Contador was cleared of the charges by the Spanish cycling federation, but “what does the UCI, who initially wanted to keep the whole incident quiet, do, but appeal.”

I think the right decision has been made by the Licence Commision but unfortunately its exposed further signs of fowl play, personal vendetta and contradiction from the laughing stock that is the UCI, something cycling fans have had to grow accustomed to.

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