McQuaid reacts to Italian ban in Murcia
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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

McQuaid reacts to Italian ban in Murcia

by VeloNation Press at 10:44 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

President of the International Cycling Union (UCI) Pat McQuaid has called on Tour of Murcia organizer Paco Guzmán to apologize for not allowing Italian teams to participate in his event as a response to Alejandro Valverde's ban on racing in Italy. While the UCI president admits it's too late for anything to be done about the decision, he has requested Guzmán admit his decision was wrong.

"As it is too late for the Italian teams, I insist that you at least apologize and admit your decision was a mistake by return mail," McQuaid said according to Marca in a email message sent to the organizer. "The ban is totally unacceptable."

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.

The appeal lodged by Valverde was heard in January by the Court of Arbitration in Sport (CAS), but a decision in the case is not expected until later this month.

"It is a retaliation against teams and riders that have nothing to do with the decision of the Italian Anti-Doping Tribunal," McQuaid continued. "You should accept the disciplinary system in sport even if you disagree with a decision, you should not take justice into your own hands."

McQuaid continued to point out how Guzmán's decision could have consequences beyond his event as VeloNation did when the move was announced in early February. He brought up the potential for Italian organizers to ban the Spanish teams from their races to retaliate, and the less threatening possibility that Italians could overlook racing in Spain in the future.

It's not clear whether McQuaid was working behind the scenes to resolve the nearly month old situation, but if the organizer doesn't apologize he's threatened to remove the race from the UCI calendar.

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