Speaking of dopers, the International Court for Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has rejected Alejandro Valverde’s challenge to his two-year suspension from racing on Italian soil. Further, should the UCI decide to pursue this matter more openly, Valverde could face a global racing ban for up to two years.
CONI investigators had acquired blood samples seized as part of the ongoing Operación Puerto case in Spain and were able to compare DNA to another sample Valverde submitted to Italian anti-doping officials when the Tour visited Italy in 2008.
An analysis conducted on the blood seized in the Puerto case not only matched Valverde’s later sample, but also contained evidence of EPO use. As a result, the Italian panel imposed a two-year ban on the Spanish rider.
That suspension, however, has not translated into a world-wide ban. By upholding the Italian suspension, it’s assumed that Valverde will likely face a worldwide ban. The UCI already tried in vain to keep Valverde out of the 2007 worlds based on alleged Puerto links, but CAS ruled then to allow Valverde to compete.
It’s about time this matter was resolved, either with a ban or just let him ride. Puerto was what, 2006? Glad to see the wheels of justice are finally rolling along.
In this latest appeal, the three-member CAS panel ruled that CONI had jurisdiction to impose the suspension and concluded that evidence presented in the case was not only admissible but also relevant and could reasonably lead to a two-year suspension.Meanwhile, Valverde didn’t appear willing to accept the decision without a fight. In a statement posted to his website following the CAS ruling, Valverde’s attorneys said they plan to appeal the CAS decision in a Swiss federal court, accusing at least one of the three CAS panelists of being inherently “biased,” since had once worked for the World-Anti-Doping Agency…
Yeah, it’s because one of the panelists was biased! They didn’t bother to look at the pile of DNA analysis and supporting evidence. Maybe it was something in one of his supplements? Maybe it was that shot of Patron?