Valverde's ban fair, says Swiss supreme court

Alejandro Valverde takes race lead, stage three

Banned Spanish cyclist Alejandro Valverde has lost his appeal against a worldwide two-year suspension from competition after the Swiss Federal Tribunal upheld the ban imposed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in May


Valverde had appealed to the Swiss supreme court after he was served a two-year ban from competition for suspected use of banned blood-booster erythropoietin (EPO).

However, the court found that the Caisse d'Epargne rider's two-year ban imposed by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) and CAS was fair and refused to over-turn the decision, news agency AP reported on Thursday.

In May 2009, Valverde had received a two-year ban from competing in Italy by the Italian Olympic Committee after it had ascertained that blood containing EPO found during the Operacion Puerto doping bust matched DNA taken from a blood sample given by Valverde during the 2008 Tour de France when it visited Italy. 

After CAS extended the ban to include the rest of the world, all of Valverdes results from the 2010 season were annulled and his name removed from the Union Cycliste Internationale's World Ranking.

Valverde's suspension will run until December 31, 2011 leaving him free to return to racing from January 1 2012.  

Related links

Valverde defiant over ban: I will be back

Valverde suspended for two years

16 March 2010: Valverde faces worldwide ban after losing appeal against Italian suspension

19 June 2009: Valverde appeals against Italian ban

11 May 2009: Valverde banned from racing in Italy for two years

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