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It's Howdy Doody time for Astana

Well there was talk of cans of worms and it looks like the UCI have opened the first one today. Its contents? A lot of worms. Based on an independent audit the UCI are now requesting their Licence Committee to withdraw Astana's Pro Team Licence

Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

The  news is out this morning in a UCI pressrelease and as suspected the news is bad for Astana. When their licence was approved earlier it was already said that it was to be under review once the Lausanne institute had conducted their audit and looked into the then just released info from the Italian Padova investigation. What they found was obviously not reassuring:

a big difference between the policies and structures that the team presented to the Licence Commission in December and the reality on the ground

This along with the contents in the Padova file, which the UCI aren't sharing at this point, probably made the decision inevitable regardless of the difficult and problematic consequences for teams, riders and the UCI. Next up is the actual decision process at the Licence Commission and after that, in all likelihood, appeals. So we won't see a final outcome of this for a while.

That's about as much attention as I feel like devoting to this crap on the eve of the cycling season. No doubt this will be a drawn out affair that we won't know the end of for a long while. Inrng does a full roundup of the implications of the whole mess here. It's suggested reading for those who haven't been following the details of the affair before.