Valverde appeals to CAS over doping ban
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Friday, June 19, 2009

Valverde appeals to CAS over doping ban

by Agence France-Presse at 12:49 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Doping
Spanish cyclist Alejandro Valverde has appealed against a doping ban imposed by Italian authorities last month, world sport's top court said on Friday.

The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) last month banned Valverde from racing in Italy for two years due to his alleged involvement in the Operation Puerto blood doping scandal, thereby ruling him out of the Tour de France, which this year passes through Italy's Val D'Aosta region on July 21.

Valverde called on the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to "exonerate him of any sanction and to terminate this matter" and "state that CONI had no jurisdiction," CAS said in a statement.

Lausanne-based CAS said it would be consulting the different parties involved before it sets out a calendar for the procedure "as soon as possible".

Normally an arbitration court panel takes about four months to issue a ruling, but it can accelerate the process in special circumstances.Valverde faces a worldwide two-year ban if cycling's world ruling body the International Cycling Union (UCI) acts upon evidence yet to be delivered by CONI about his alleged involvement in the Operation Puerto case.

The Spaniard, who won the Dauphine Libere stage race on Sunday, had already declared his intention to take his case to CAS, declaring himself "outraged" by CONI's decision on May 11.

Valverde's case is complicated by the fact that he has been suspended by an authority to which he does not directly answer.

The UCI, the only organisation with the power to extend the ban to affect all professional races, is studying CONI's files and is expected to make a statement next week.

This year's Tour de France takes place from July 4-26.

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