Valjavec unable to land big contract, will compete for Slovenian Continental team in 2011
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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Valjavec unable to land big contract, will compete for Slovenian Continental team in 2011

by Shane Stokes at 4:23 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
Ag2r and others won’t take him on due to unresolved biological passport case

Tadej ValjavecUnable to secure a new contract with a top-level team due to the unresolved biological passport case involving him, 31 year old Tadej Valjavec has been forced to opt for the small Zheroquadro Radenska Continental team for 2011.

The Slovenian had been hoping to get a top-level contract after missing most of his season with Ag2r La Mondiale. The UCI announced in May that he had suspect biological passport figures, suspending him from all competition and instructing his national federation to open disciplinary proceedings.

He protested his innocence and claimed that the blood irregularities were due to illness. The Slovenian national anti-doping federation accepted his explanation, saying in late July that there was no firm evidence against him. He was cleared to race once more, and while the UCI said that it would appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, no decision has yet been reached.

The chance that it could go against him means that there has been a big reluctance on the part of ProTour and Pro Continental teams to sign him up. Once of those who wouldn’t commit again was Ag2r La Mondiale. He had been with the French squad since 2008. As a result, Cyclismactu reports that he's had to sign for the Continental team instead.

Valjavec has had a successful carer this far, netting tenth in the 2008 Tour de France and ninth in both the 2004 and 2009 Giri d’Italia. He is hoping to be cleared and to be able to sign a big contract, returning to top-level competition. For now, though, he looks fated to ride much smaller events with his new team.


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