Katusha cycling team appealing to CAS for top-tier status

2012 rankings leader Joaquim Rodriguez rides for the Russian team Katusha, which is appealing for top-tier status.
LUK BENIES/Getty Images

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) -- Russian team Katusha is presenting an appeal to sport's highest court after the International Cycling Union refused to grant top-tier status in 2013.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport says a verdict is expected next week. Katusha riders include the 2012 rankings leader, Joaquim Rodriguez of Spain.

The team's general manager is Viatcheslav Ekimov, the three-time Olympic champion and longtime teammate of Lance Armstrong with the U.S. Postal Service team.

The UCI's license commission declined Katusha's application for World Tour status and guaranteed entry to cycling's biggest races. Katusha must rely on wild-card entries from race organizers. The commission and Katusha have not said publicly why the license was refused in December.

The UCI allocated its full quota of 18 team licenses before the court's verdict.

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