CAS gives Katusha cold shoulder
Paris - The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Thursday rejected a provisional request from Russian cycling team Katusha to compete in this year's UCI World Tour races.
"The CAS will now examine an appeal from Katusha who have asked that the commission's decision concerning the ban on their riders be cancelled and that Katusha are admitted (to the World Tour) for the entire 2013 season," read a CAS statement.
"An audience will be fixed in the near future so that a final decision can be taken as soon as possible," concluded the statement.
The controversial team who count 2012 World Tour champion Joaquim Rodriguez of Spain and Russia's Denis Menchov in their ranks were hoping to be allowed to take part in World Tour races until their appeal is heard.
Their exclusion from the list leaves them at the mercy of the organisers of the major Tours as to whether they are invited to compete or not.
The team have been racing on the circuit since 2009 and finished second in the team rankings last year behind Team Sky.
To make matters worse for the outift that are run by Russia's Viatcheslav Ekimov, a former team-mate of the disgraced rider Lance Armstrong, they have been refused a wildcard entry to this year's Giro d'Italia.
In November the Association of Race Organisers warned it would only consider handing out invitations to teams which, unlike Katusha, had signed up to the anti-doping charter - the Movement for Credible Cycling.
The 2013 World Tour campaign starts on January 22 with the Tour Down Under.