Valverde dates with CAS scheduled
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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Valverde dates with CAS scheduled

by VeloNation Press at 9:53 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping, Press Release
 

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has announced the hearing dates for the two arbitration procedures involving the Spanish cyclist Alejandro Valverde.

The hearing in the case between Valverde and CONI/UCI/WADA will take place from 12 to 14 January 2010. In this case, Alejandro Valverde filed an appeal following a decision taken by the anti-doping tribunal of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) to suspend him for two years from cycling in Italy due to a violation of the CONI anti-doping rules. Blood samples taken from Valverde in Italy during the 2008 Tour de France matched the DNA in blood bags seized during the Operation Puerto searches, prompting the action.

Valverde, 29, was forced to sit out the 2009 edition of the Tour de France due to its brief incursion onto Italian soil during stage 16. The Spaniard would like the CONI decision against him reversed so he can again compete on Italian soil. The first hearing date was scheduled for November 16, 2009, but was cancelled when CONI requested to join the UCI and WADA as parties to the arbitration procedure. Their participation was admitted by the CAS which led to the postponement of the hearing.

The hearing concerning the case between UCI/WADA and Valverde/Spanish Cycling Federation is scheduled to take place from 18 to 21 March 2010. The UCI and WADA are contesting the decision taken by the Spanish Cycling Federation not to open a disciplinary procedure against Alejandro Valverde. The UCI president Pat McQuaid has stated on several occasions that the UCI feels there is considerable evidence against Valverde in Operación Puerto. The CAS had organised for the hearing to take place at the end of November 2009. However, at the request of the parties, the hearing was postponed in order for it to be able to take place over a minimum of three consecutive days.

Should Valverde win his battle in the CAS, he has already said he will focus 100 percent on the Tour de France for 2010, putting the defense of his 2009 Vuelta a España victory into question. If he fails to defend the UCI/WADA appeal to sanction him for his involvement in the Operación Puerto scandal, he will see his Italian ban expanded worldwide and an end to his 2010 season.

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