Spanish professional cyclist Alejandro Valverde has filed a complaint with a Spanish court against the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
The Caisse d’Epargne rider’s grievance comes after he was banned for two years from competing in Italy by a tribunal instigated by the Italian Olympic Committe (CONI) on May 11. WADA officials were present at the hearing. Valverde himself elected not to be present at the hearing, but representatives from the Spanish Cycling Federation were there.
CONI say that they have evidence that a blood bag found in the Madrid clinic at the centre of the Operacion Puerto doping scandal belongs to Valverde. They allegedly matched DNA from the blood with a sample taken from Valverde during a dope control in last year’s Tour de France when it visited Italy.
Valverde’s legal team are saying that all parties at the tribunal defied the ruling by a Spanish judge that evidence in Spain cannot be used outside the country. They argue that his ban is therefore invalid and the case should have been dealt with by the Spanish Cycling Federation.
Valverde’s ban effectively rules him out from competing in this year’s Tour de France as it travels onto Italian soil. It is still unclear whether the ban will be extended by the Union Cycliste Internationale to include other countries.
Since receiving the ban in Italy, Valverde has won the Tour of Catalonia in Spain.
Explaining the Valverde case
Valverde banned from racing in Italy for two years
Valverde not present at Italian hearing
Valverde complains about Italians
Comment: End this Valverde Farce
Italians set Valverde disciplinary hearing for May 11
Alejandro Valverde: Rider Profile
April 1, 2009: Valverde set to be banned from racing in Italy
March 25, 2009: Valverde wins stage 3 of Castilla y Leon
February 12, 2009: Valverde fights back over Puerto accusations
July 5, 2008: Is Valverde’s win a good thing for the Tour de France?
January 11, 2008: Valverde back in anti-doping spotlight (again)
September 25, 2007: Valverde cleared by Puerto judge
September 18, 2007: UCI says it has new information on Valverde
August 30, 2007: Valverde expected to hand over DNA sample
August 30, 2007: Valverde banned from Worlds