UCI MrBookmaker-Palmans ProTour Decision

INTERNATIONAL CYCLING UNION

D E C I S I O N

of 22 November 2004 of the Licences Commission of the International Cycling Union,
composed of Pierre Zappelli, President, André Hurter and Hans Höhener, members,

in view of:

the application of Van der Schueren H.-Sportpromotie ASBL for a UCI ProTour licence;
the dossier;
the hearing of 22 November 2004, in Lausanne;

noting that the procedure has been as follows:

A. On 13 August 2004, Van der Schueren H.- Sportpromotie ASBL, a company resident at 9500 Geraardsbergen, Belgium, applied for a four-year UCI ProTour licence to enable the team Mr. Bookmaker - Palmans to take part in the UCI ProTour.

B. As the dossier was incomplete, the Professional Cycling Council asked the applicant in a letter of 2 September 2004 to provide information as to the identity of the riders engaged for 2005, the identity of the 2005 team manager(s), the identity of the 2005 manager and the identity of the 2005 doctor. The applicant was also asked to provide the information document, contracts, letters of intent and sponsors' guarantees, the latest accounts audited or certified in order, the training programme and the name and first name of the accountant and his recognised training and experience. The applicant was finally invited to produce written confirmation of the absence of any link indicated at point 2 of the "information" form.

The applicant provided the information requested on 7 September 2004.

On 8 September 2004, the Licences Commission of the UCI (hereinafter: the Commission) notified the applicant that it could not accept the dossier as submitted, for the reason that the global budget seemed small, that cover did not seem to be assured and that the sports level of the riders under contract appeared inadequate for a competition like the UCI ProTour. The Commission announced that it would re-examine the dossier at its next meeting.

C. After considering this application again on 6 October 2004, the Commission, in a letter of 12 October 2004, wrote to the applicant: " (...) After examination of your dossier, the Licences Commission noted that it had received no additional information following the correspondence sent to you on 10 September 2004. It can therefore only hold to the decision taken previously and has thus rejected your application.. (...)."

D. After its meeting of 12 November 2004, the Commission notified the applicant of the following prior evaluation:

"(...) It appears from your dossier, the Licences Commission of the UCI notes that it had previously had to issue a negative prior evaluation regarding your application. This is because your team does not fulfil the following regulatory conditions:

  • The registration procedure has not been followed.
  • The global budget is small and its cover is not assured.
  • The sports level of the riders under contract is inadequate (...)".
  • E. On 17 November 2004, the applicant sent the Commission a letter in which he explains inter alia: " (...) I am unable to attend, but I will give you my opinion of these comments:

    "1. Failure to follow the procedure. I agree that I sent my dossier somewhat late, but within the deadline. I was working on the last documents at the time when the UCI issued 20 preliminary licences at this time I was astonished and fortunately I had not signed 28 riders, because in my continental team I can have 25 riders.

    "2. Global budget is small and its cover is not assured. I agree that my budget is small but for me, adequate. My riders and staff are always paid.

    "3. The sports level of the riders under contract is inadequate. I agree that my team does not have much in the way of big names but I want to remind you that this year after the classics at the end of April my team was ranked 12th in the TT/1s. OK, Roger Hammond has left but he has been replaced by the following riders: Frank Vandenbroucke - Stephan Van Dijk - Gorik Gardeyn - etc. What is more, I have always given an opportunity to young riders and to riders who deserve a 2nd chance(…) " 

    No one was present to represent the applicant during the Commission's meeting of 22 November 2004.

    Given that:

    1 Article 2.15.011 of section XV of the UCI Regulations (hereinafter: the Regulations) sets out the criteria which the Commission may take into account in allocating a UCI Pro Tour Licence to a team. Among these criteria are assurances of financial health and stability for the four coming years (article 2.15.011, number 2), the standard of the riders, inter alia as regards their classifications and results (article 2.15.011, number 3) and respect for UCI regulations (article 2.15.011, number 4).

    The Regulations (articles 2.15.064 to 2.15.075) require teams to apply for registration to the Professional Cycling Council for the following year (article 2.15.064), supplying inter alia the text of the contracts concluded with its riders (article 2.15.065) and, by a deadline of 30 September, a first-demand bank guarantee (article 2.15,067), and all the documents required for the audit to be carried out by the auditor (articles 2.15.068 and 2.15.069).

    Article 2.15.017, numbers 2 and 3, of the Regulations states that the Commission may not consider a licence application unless, at the time when it announces its final decision, it is in possession of the information and documents required for registration of the team and the report of the auditor approved by the UCI.

    2. In this instance, and this is the main objection, no request for registration was submitted within the deadline.

    This single reason is sufficient for the commission to reject the licence application of Van der Schueren H.-Sportpromotie ASBL.

    Otherwise, the Commission can only reiterate its comments in the prior evaluation quoted above. The applicant himself admits the truth of these comments. There are no classified riders among those whom the applicant proposes to engage in 2005. The sports level of this team will therefore be particularly small in comparison with that of other teams admitted to the UCI ProTour. The admission of the applicant's team to the UCI ProTour would weaken the level of this competition which is supposed to bring together the elite of the cycle sport world.

    Under these conditions, the fact that the budget is sufficient to meet the team's expenses is not a deciding factor.

    It follows that the licence application must be rejected.

    For these reasons, the Licences Commission of the UCI rules:

    1. The application of Van der Schueren H.-Sportpromotie ASBL for the issue of a UCI ProTour licence for the Mr. Bookmaker - Palmans team is rejected.

    2. Under articles 2.15.226 and 2.15.229 of the UCI Regulations governing cycle sport, an appeal may be submitted to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), within fifteen days of the day following receipt by fax of the present decision.

    Lausanne, 22 November 2004.

    For the Licence Commission of the UCI

    Pierre Zappelli, President