CAS rules for Alejandro Valverde regarding extending his ban worldwide
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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

CAS rules for Valverde regarding worldwide ban

by VeloNation Press at 8:39 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) today rejected any immediate possibility of extending the Italian Olympic Committee's (CONI) sanction of Spanish rider Alberto Valverde beyond the borders of Italy. The Spaniard is currently banned from racing in Italy based on evidence the Italian anti-doping prosecutor Ettore Torri says links the Caisse d'Epargne rider to the Operación Puerto scandal.

The appeal that was lodged by Valverde is challenging CONI about the two year sanction imposed last May which prevents the cyclist from racing in Italy for two years. This prevented him from taking part in the 2009 Tour de France due to its brief incursion on Italian soil.

The first day of the appeal focused on the requests by the International Cycling Union (UCI) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to extend Valverde's ban globally. Valverde's attorney Antonio Sánchez Sabater admitted that no conclusions can be drawn after the first day, but it was pleased by TAS making the first decision in favor of his client. "They have come here as three parties against Alejandro (Valverde) and to sanction him worldwide," he told Europa Press.

"CAS, under no circumstances will impose global sanctions on Valverde," added Sánchez Sabater.

However it is possible that a later appeal due to be held in March could have bigger consequences. That hearing will deal with an application by the UCI and WADA to force the Spanish federation to sanction the rider, something it previously refused to do.

If CAS finds in favour of the UCI and WADA then, Valverde could in theory end up being hit with a global ban.

Today’s hearing also examined claims that CONI had no jurisdiction over Valverde as he is a Spanish rider. CAS reportedly found otherwise, although full details will not emerge until the end of the appeal.

The remaining two days will focus on whether the CONI ban is in violation of Spanish Judge Antonio Serrano's order that evidence obtained in Spain cannot be used against Valverde in Italy.

"Valverde is a doper, and the sole intention of using the blood bag in that manner breaks the World Anti-Doping Agency Code," said Ettore Torri. "The law must be equal for all," he argued. "The Spanish authorities provided all the evidence for Basso and Scarponi, and instead refused to provide Valverde's," he added.

Meanwhile Valverde is set to contest the Santos Tour Down Under which starts this weekend in Adelaide, Australia.

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