Alejandro Valverde’s CAS hearing is only hours away
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Monday, January 11, 2010

Valverde’s CAS hearing is only hours away

by VeloNation Press at 12:40 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 

Alejandro Valverde’s career reaches an important crossroads tomorrow when a three day Court of Arbitration in Sport hearing begins in the Swiss city of Lausanne.

The Spanish rider will not attend but he will be represented by his legal team. He is due to race the Tour Down Under and so he is focussing on preparing for that and on travelling to Australia.

Valverde is appealing a decision made by the Italian Olympic Committee CONI last May to ban him from racing in Italy for two years.

It reached that judgement after blood samples taken from the rider during the 2008 Tour de France reportedly fitted a DNA match with blood bags seized during the Operación Puerto raids in May of 2006.
Valverde has long been rumoured to have been part of Eufemiano Fuentes’ doping ring, under the codename ‘Valv. Piti.’

He has always denied doping and is hoping that the court will throw out the 24 month Italian suspension.

Two cases pending:

A total of 19 witnesses have been called to this week’s hearing, including his former Kelme team-mate Jesus Manzano. He has stated on several occasions that Valverde doped and is expected to testify along the same lines.

The chairman of the three-man arbitration panel is the Belgian Roman Subiotto, according to tuttobiciweb. Valverde has selected Italian Roger Stincardini, while CONI has appointed the German Ulrich Haas.

The rider’s legal team sought to have the latter removed, alleging a conflict of interest due to Haas’ past work with WADA. This has however been rejected by CAS.

Both WADA and the UCI are also parties in the case, teaming up with CONI to try to make the ban stick.

Whatever outcome is reached after this week’s questioning, Valverde will also face a second hearing in March. This is a procedure taken by the UCI and WADA, appealing against the Spanish Cycling Federation’s decision not to sanction him. He faces a potential two year worldwide ban if he loses.

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