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Peter Sagan and UCI end legal dispute over Tour de France disqualification

The case was due to be heard today, Tuesday 5th December, but has been settled

Following Peter Sagan's controversial disqualification from the Tour de France as a result of a crash on Stage 4 that also ended Mark Cavendish's race, the case has finally been settled. Despite the race being long finished, Sagan and his Bora-Hansgrohe team had raised the case with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to get the DQ scrubbed from his record.

The CAS hearing was scheduled to take place today, Tuesday 5th December, in the Swiss city Lausanne but the dispute has been ended before the meeting was convened.

Sagan and Bora contested the sanction at the time in the hope of keeping the prolific Green Jersey winner in contention but this was rejected and he was stopped from starting Stage 5.

In a statement, the UCI clarified its position and looked to have absolved Sagan of blame for the crash.

'Having considered the materials submitted in the CAS proceedings, including video footage that was not available at the time when the race jury had disqualified Peter Sagan, the parties agreed that the crash was an unfortunate and unintentional race incident and that the UCI Commissaires made their decision based on their best judgment in the circumstances,' the governing body said.

It added, 'On this basis, the parties agreed not to continue with the legal proceedings and to focus on the positive steps that can be taken in the future instead.'

The interesting element here is the submission of previously unavailable video footage. The source of this isn't stated, but in the age of the smartphone and social media, it's entirely plausible that fan-footage could have been decisive in the arbitration.

In comments included in UCI release, Sagan looked ahead rather than dwelling on this year's race.

'The past is already forgotten,' he said. 'It’s all about improving our sport in the future. I welcome the fact that what happened to me in Vittel has showed that the UCI Commissaires’ work is a difficult one and that the UCI has recognised the need to facilitate their work in a more effective way.

'I am happy that my case will lead to positive developments, because it is important for our sport to make fair and comprehensible decisions, even if emotions are sometimes heated up.'