Valverde facing two-year UCI ban
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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Valverde facing two-year UCI ban

by Agence France-Presse at 12:39 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Doping

Alejandro Valverde faces a worldwide two-year doping ban if cycling's world ruling body the UCI acts upon vital evidence, which has still be received from the Italian sporting authorities.

Spaniard ace Valverde has been effectively ruled out of this year's Tour de France after CONI, the Italian Olympic Committee, banned him from racing in Italy for two years.

CONI claims that a blood sample from Valverde, taken at Cuneo, Italy during the last year's Tour de France, matches blood samples from the Operation Puerto blood doping scandal which erupted in Spain nearly four years ago.

Next month's Tour de France races, albeit briefly, on Italian soil meaning the 29-year-old Caisse d'Epargne rider would not be able to participate.

Valverde has already appealed the ruling, arguing that CONI made use of unlawfully acquired evidence.

International Cycling Union (UCI) president Pat McQuaid said Wednesday, however, that if and when they receive the evidence from CONI they may ban the Spaniard from racing anywhere for two years.

"We are still waiting on the reasoning (of the ban) of the CONI board. They told us we would have it within 30 days, and the final day would be tomorrow," said McQuaid.

"Hopefully it will be with us tomorrow (Thursday) or within the next few days.

"Our lawyer will study the documents and if it has been done according to our, and the World Anti Doping Agency's rules then we may globalise the sanction of Alejandro Valverde.

"Valverde's only hope of having CONI's ban overturned would be to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

This year the 16th stage of the Tour de France passes through Italy's Val D'Aosta region on July 21.


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