The Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) says it has matched Alejandro Valverde’s blood samples taken during the Italian section of last year’s Tour de France to blood bags recovered in Operacion Puerto in 2006.
Italian anti-doping prosecutor Ettore Torri has called for a two-year ban for Valverde. Torri said in February: “We can say with certainty blood sachet number 18 is Valverde’s”.
Valverde has denied any involvement at all with Operacion Puerto.
Despite more stringent doping controls in and out of competition, riders are still using banned substances and doping techniques. Yesterday, former Gerolsteiner professional Bernhard Kohl admitted to blood doping and using banned blood-bosting drug CERA, a form of EPO. Kohl is currently serving a two-year ban from competition after testing positive for CERA at the 2008 Tour de France.