CAS dismisses Peter Sagan appeal against disqualification

CAS dismisses Peter Sagan appeal against disqualification

Peter Sagan's appeal against his disqualification from the Tour de France has been dismissed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

World champion Sagan and his Bora-Hansgrohe team called for his reinstatement two days after he left the race.

But CAS ruled the decision taken on Tuesday evening, after Sagan was sent home accused of causing the stage four crash which saw Mark Cavendish suffer a broken shoulder blade, should stand.

A statement from CAS on Thursday read: "Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) rejects urgent application for provisional measures filed by Peter Sagan and Denk Pro Cycling.

"Peter Sagan remains disqualified from the 2017 Tour de France."

Sagan had initially been docked 30 seconds before the race jury reviewed the footage and upgraded his punishment, ending his bid to win the Tour's points classification for a record-equalling sixth straight year.

As he left the team hotel in Vittel on Wednesday morning Sagan said he disagreed with the verdict but had no choice but to accept it. His team, however, took a different path.

The German-registered squad said the UCI commissaires had failed to follow their own rules as they did not speak to Sagan prior to issuing the punishment.

A statement on Thursday said: "The team and Peter Sagan would like to reiterate their position that Peter Sagan did not cause, let alone deliberately, the fall of Mark Cavendish on the last 200m of the fourth stage on July 4, 2017. Peter Sagan stayed on his line and could not see Mark Cavendish on the right side.

"Although the UCI cycling regulations provide unambiguously that it is mandatory to hear a rider before any disciplinary decision is taken (Rule 12.2.006: 'The commissaires panel may judge the matter only if the offending party has had a chance to defend his point of view [...]'), Peter Sagan has not been given an opportunity to explain to the 'commissaires panel' his point of view.

"If the motion to suspend, on which the CAS will have to decide now, is granted, Peter Sagan will immediately re-engage in the Tour and, together with the team BORA-hansgrohe, compete for a successful Tour de France 2017."

Although Sagan travelled home to Monaco on Wednesday, the team continued to line up his bike outside their team bus each morning alongside those of his remaining team-mates.

Even if CAS had ruled in his favour it would have been implausible that Sagan could be allowed to rejoin the race having missed two stages.

Cavendish had said after the incident that he has a good relationship with Sagan, but on Wednesday morning he praised the "courage" of the race jury in deciding to disqualify the reigning world champion.

On Thursday, Sagan used Twitter to post pictures of him both winning and losing in sprints against Cavendish, and wrote: "Mark, get well soon! I prefer a finish like the one in the first photo 😉 but whatever the outcome, I look forward to racing against you!"

Cavendish then responded: "Class... Proud to know you, Peter. See you soon mate."

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