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Katusha appeal to CAS over World Tour snub

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian cycling team Katusha have appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) after cycling's world governing body (UCI) rejected their application to compete in the World Tour.

"The professional cycling team Katusha have filed an appeal to the Lausanne-based court, contesting the UCI's decision from December 10, 2012 to turn down the team's request to extend their World Tour license for 2013," Katusha said in a statement on Saturday.

Katusha, who finished second in the World Tour standings in 2012 and have world number one Joaquim Rodriguez of Spain riding for them, said the UCI decision violated all principles of fair play.

"The UCI violates the canons of sports ethics and causes irreparable moral and psychological harm to the athletes before the start of the new season," the team said, adding they have not received any explanation about the decision from the UCI.

The UCI told Reuters the move was made by the independent license commission which makes its decisions on sporting, ethical, administrative and financial grounds.

The decision means Katusha will need invitations to take part in the Tour de France, the Giro d'Italia, the Tour of Spain and several top one-day and one-week races in 2013.

(Reporting by Gennady Fyodorov; Editing by John Mehaffey)

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