Alejandro Valverde took the leader’s jersey in the Dauphiné Libéré at the top of Mont Ventoux on Thursday.

As he was racing, it was reported that the UCI had received the evidence from CONI, the Italian Olympic Committee, explaining the reasons for banning Valverde from competing in Italy for two years.

Many readers have asked why Valverde is still able to race. It’s because CONI had a 30-day deadline to hand over its report and ruling to the UCI.

On Thursday, the 30th day, the UCI received the 24-page document.

In the report, CONI says it has matched Valverde’s DNA with the blood contained in bag number 18 seized in the raids on Dr Eufemiano Fuentes’s laboratory in Madrid three years ago.

Last year, when the Tour de France made an overnight stop in Italy, Valverde was tested by CONI. The Rome police then used a Europe-wide agreement between police forces to gain access to the Operacion Puerto blood bags.

The two-year ban hinges on CONI having proved bag 18 was Valverde’s blood. The Italians say it is, and banned the rider from racing in Italy. Now the UCI’s lawyers will study the evidence and if it stands up to scrutiny and conforms to the World Anti-Doping Agency code.

On Wednesday, UCI president Pat McQuaid said it would take “four, five, six days” for the lawyers to determine whether the two-year ban from Italy should be enforced worldwide.

So, while Valverde may be free to race on until Sunday, he should know by the end of next week whether he’s to spend the next two years on the sidelines.

The other scenario is that the UCI finds flaws in CONI’s case and dismisses the ban. That would be the equivalent of a coach and horses riding through CONI’s credibility, and would do serious damage to the anti-doping effort.

Meanwhile, Valverde is reportedly appealing CONI’s decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

  • Bob Atkins

    OK so the UCI have yet again been poor at nailing a doper but as the evidence mounts against Valverde its time he ‘did some time for the crime’ even if he did win DL clean. So Alejandro would you please leave our battered sport, reflect on what you did, the races you probably stole and come back Millar style in 2 years time.

  • myles mc corry

    when is a winner a loser?
    So he doped . its in the past, ALL the fault for continued damage to the sport lies with the UCI. Failure to implement blanket bans on riders caught-in any country. Now Val is going to win the DL and mainstream press are going to jump on it when the UCI limps late and offers his ban up next week. The glory of the podium lost to its rightful owner and the wonderful sport dragged thru the gutter- once again.

  • jim perle

    like the new style,only 2 problems.1 no links which was very usefull,and 2. alot of pop ups not related to sport at all

  • Angharad

    If Valverde gets away with this, it will once again make cycling look stupid. With all the appeals and legal processes, cycling is getting more and more like Formula 1.

    Is it me, or do the Spanish seem to have an epidemic of dopers and cheats who seem to get away with it longer than anywhere else?