Cycling: Nibali's Astana team retains elite licence despite doping cases

PARIS (REUTERS) - Tour de France champion Vincenzo Nibali can ride in this year's race after his Astana team kept their world tour licence on Thursday despite a string of doping cases, the International Cycling Union (UCI) said on Thursday.

The UCI announced in February that it wanted the sport's Licence Commission to strip the Kazakh team of their elite status following an investigation into doping after several Astana riders failed tests last season.

The Commission met on Thursday and agreed Astana should retain their licence subject to strict monitoring of a number of special measures proposed by experts at the University of Lausanne (ISSUL).

"On the initiative of the Licence Commission, ISSUL were asked to propose special measures which the team will be obliged to put in place at specific times over the rest of this season," the UCI said in a statement.

"The team committed to respecting all the measures recommended by ISSUL.

"The registration for the 2015 season remains in force. However, the team's licence is subject to strict monitoring of the conditions laid down.

"The Licence Commission shall be able to re-open the proceedings if Astana fails to respect one or several of the conditions imposed, or if new elements arise."

The World Tour licence guarantees its holder direct participation to the top races including the Tour de France, the Paris-Roubaix classic and the Giro d'Italia.

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