Valverde suspended by team as he awaits second CAS ruling

Alejandro Valverde, Vuelta a Espana 2009, stage 12

Alejandro Valverde has been suspended by his team Caisse d'Epargne as he awaits a second ruling by the Court of Arbitration for sport (CAS).

On March 16 CAS dismissed Valverde's appeal against the Italian Olympic Committee's (CONI) ban for racing on Italian soil. The ruling essentially said that CONI's evidence (they linked Valverde's blood sample taken during the 2008 Tour de France with a bag of blood stored by Dr Fuentes in Madrid using DNA) was solid and so their ban for doping stood.

The Union Cycliste International then immediately put in their own appeal to force the Spanish Cycling Federation to sanction Valverde and make his Italian ban worldwide.

If CAS rule in the UCI's favour, which they are expected to do, Valverde will be provisionally banned with immediate affect by the UCI, thus bypassing the Spanish Federation that has consistently failed to act on this situation.

Valverde has been linked to Operacion Puerto since the scandal first broke in May 2006, but only the Italian Olympic Committee took action as the Spanish authorities hid behind Spanish law that governed the outcome of Puerto.

The Spaniard has taken many high profile wins in the intervening years including Liege Bastogne Liege and the Dauphine Libere.

If the UCI's appeal is successful they are expected to ban Valverde for at least two years.

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Simon Richardson
Simon Richardson

Editor of Cycling Weekly magazine, Simon has been working at the title since 2001. He fell in love with cycling when channel surfing in 1989 and happening across the greatest ever edition of the Tour de France. He's been a Greg LeMond fan ever since. He started racing in 1995 when moving to university in North Wales gave him more time to train and some amazing roads to train on. He raced domestically for several years, riding everything from Surrey leagues to time trials, track and even a few Premier Calendars. In 2000 he spent one season racing in Belgium with the Kingsnorth International Wheelers. 

Since working for Cycling Weekly he has written product reviews, fitness features, pro interviews, race coverage and news. He has covered the Tour de France more times than he can remember along with two Olympic Games and many other international and UK domestic races. He can still be seen at his club's evening races through the summer but he still hasn't completed the CW5000 challenge!

Simon is currently riding

Road bike: Pinarello K8S with Shimano Dura Ace

TT bike: Specialized Venge road bike with FFWD wheels and Easton Attack TT bars

Gravel bike: N/A

Training bike: Rourke custom hand made with Reynolds 853 steel