Katusha to take exclusion by UCI to CAS

Updated 15 December 2012
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Katusha to take exclusion by UCI to CAS

PARIS: Russian cycling team Katusha, bitter over their exclusion from the WorldTour list of teams which gives them automatic entry to the major Tours next year, announced on Saturday they would take their case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
The Russian outfit, who enjoyed a successful season largely thanks to veteran Spaniard Joaquim Rodriguez who finished the year top of the World Tour rankings, were left fuming over their exclusion from the final list of 18 teams that was announced by the International Cycling Union (UCI) last Monday.
“Russian team Katusha has filed a lawsuit to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne (CAS) aiming to dispute the decision of the UCI License Commission, who rejected the 2013 World Tour license request of Katusha Team on December, 10, 2012,” said the team in a statement.
“Applying to the CAS became a direct consequence of the policy of isolation, pursued by the UCI License Commission, and was made in strict accordance with all law regulations.” The team, which is managed by Russian Viatcheslav Ekimov a former teammate of the disgraced rider Lance Armstrong, had expressed its total surprise on Tuesday in reacting to the news and blasted the UCI for “a complete violation of ethical sporting principles.”
As a result of the UCI’s cold shoulder Katusha must now rely on invitations from organizers to take part in next season’s major races like the Tours of France, Italy and Spain.
Last month the Association of Race Organizers 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.
Aside from sporting performance, the UCI’s Licenses Commission also takes ethical and financial criteria into account.
“Purito” Rodriguez, 33, claimed victory in the Fleche Wallonne classic as well as the Tour of Lombardy this year.
The Spaniard also finished second in the Tour of Italy and third in the Tour of Spain.


Why even the #WengerOut brigade should lament Arsene Wenger's exit from Arsenal

Updated 21 April 2018
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Why even the #WengerOut brigade should lament Arsene Wenger's exit from Arsenal

  • The Frenchman revolutionised the game in England across all leagues, not just the Premier League.
  • After initial success he found the going tough in the second half of his reign, but will still go down as an all-time great.

Over the past few seasons it has been fashionable to view Arsene Wenger as some sort of figure of fun — a man living in the past, left behind by the modern game, but too stubborn to realize it.
In time, though, even the most ardent, frothing-at-the-mouth #WengerOut believer would have to agree that the Frenchman will go down not just as one of the best managers Arsenal have had, but also among the greatest in English club football.
As with any caricature, there is a hint of truth in the picture created, crude as it sometimes is. Yes, Wenger’s past few years at the Emirates have been painful to watch. Yes, he was stubborn when it came to both activity in the transfer market and belief in his methods and tactics. Yes, it is fair to say he leaves the club, on the pitch at least, in a bit of a mess. And, yes, he should have left two or three years ago.
But if there is one thing that any sane fan should remember about Wenger’s 22 years as Arsenal boss, it is this: He was a game-changer, a manager who oversaw not only a revolution of the Gunners, but also of the English game.
As soon as Wenger landed in England in 1996, he banished Arsenal’s Tuesday drinking club and munching of Mars bars — in their place came stretching sessions and broccoli. Hardly profound or radical in today’s game, but this was the era when change in English football invariably meant no pies and pints on a Friday night.
The technical, passing, possession football that is now the norm for any side with ambitions to remain in the Premier League, let alone win it, and the idea that eating vegetables rather than a tub of lard would help player performance, were brought in by Wenger alone.
He won the double in his first full season in charge, signed unheralded foreign talent such as Emmanuel Petit and Patrick Viera — who went on to become world-class players — and created teams that were a joy to watch, culminating with “The Invincibles” of 2003-04, who won the Premier League without losing a match.
The irony is that the one-time revolutionary ended up being viewed as a throwback, a stuck-in-the-mud anachronism; a manager who harked back to a time when playing with the owner’s chequebook was not seen as the only path to success and when paragraphs were favored over 140 characters.
And that perhaps explains why so many Arsenal fans seemingly wanted him gone: Wenger is not of the Twitter generation, of instant opinions for the 24-hour news agenda and of hype over humility. The man who was once seen as the future stuck to principles that were deemed as belonging to the past.
It is clear there is a lot of bad blood at the club — a ridiculous Facebook post by an Arsenal fan claimed Wenger’s announcement he was leaving made it the “greatest day in Arsenal’s history.”
But for all the bluster and nonsense, Wenger’s legacy will be that of “The Invincibles” — one of the greatest club sides of modern times; of beautiful football played at pace and with artistry; of being a decent, yet flawed, man who was never anything but articulate and courteous.
Having been in charge of Arsenal for 22 years, he is undoubtedly the last of a kind, and in the era of trigger-happy owners, short-term fixes and sensationalism over stability, that is something everyone, even the #WengerOut brigade, should lament.