Thursday 03 June 2010 | Cycling feed

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Alejandro Valverde handed two-year ban

Alejandro Valverde has received a two-year ban from cycling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport [CAS] following involvement in the Operation Puerto scandal.

 
Alejandro Valverde
Out of it: Alejandro Valverde will not be allowed to defend his Vuelta a España win after the Spaniard was handed a two-year ban by the Court of Arbitration for Sport Photo: AFP

Valverde, 30, was handed the worldwide ban after the International Cycling Union [UCI] and World Anti-Doping Agency [WADA] successfully appealed to CAS over the Spaniard's involvement in the Operation Puerto doping scandal that swept though his homeland in 2006.

The Caisse d'Epargne rider, despite never actually failing a doping test, will now be unable to defend his Vuelta a España title after the court's panel of three arbitrators decided by a 2-1 majority that he broke anti-doping rules four years ago after DNA evidence seized by police in Madrid linked him to an athletes' blood-doping ring.

"The CAS considered there was no evidence that any of the results obtained by Valverde prior to Jan. 1, 2010 was through doping infraction," the court said.

Valverde will be disqualified from all races this season and asked to reimburse his prize money - including monies from his Tour of Romandy victory and second-placed finish in Paris-Nice race - and replaced at the top of the world rankings by Cadel Evans, the Australian world champion.

 
 
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