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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

Cycling News Flash for April 1, 2009

Edited by Sue George

Italy's CONI requests two-year suspension for Valverde

By Gregor Brown

Spain's Valverde received a two-year recommended suspension from CONI
Photo ©: Franklin Tello
(Click for larger image)
The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) requested a two-year suspension on Wednesday in Rome for Spanish cyclist Alejandro Valverde. CONI reportedly used DNA evidence to connect the 28-year-old Caisse d'Epargne rider to the Operación Puerto investigation.

Head anti-doping prosecutor Ettore Torri linked DNA samples taken during last year's Tour de France – from the rest day in Italy on July 21 – to blood seized in the Operación Puerto investigation. In May 2006, Spanish Guardia Civil had seized coded blood bags during its raid on the offices of Doctor Eufemiano Fuentes. (Read EPO blood bags attributed to code names.)

A few months ago, Torri summonsed Valverde to appear in Rome based on the evidence. Valverde, with Italian lawyer Frederico Cecconi, met Torri on February 19.

CONI sent its recommended suspension to the Italian anti-doping tribunal. The tribunal should make its ruling in the coming weeks. Valverde will likely appeal any ruling to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Valverde has raced since 2006 despite reported links. Last week, he won two stages in the Castilla y León stage race and finished ninth overall.

He is a winner of two editions of Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the 2006 Flèche Wallonne and the International Cycling Union's (UCI) ProTour classification in 2006 and 2008.

Participate in a discussion on the Cyclingnews Forum about Valverde and Operación Puerto.

Cyclingnews' recent coverage of 'Operación Puerto'

May 18, 2009 - Valverde to start Catalunya
May 15, 2009 - Valverde not welcome in Denmark
May 14, 2009 - Spanish federation wants proof in Valverde case
May 13, 2009 - Spanish Olympic Committee defends Valverde
May 12, 2009 - Valverde responds to sanction
May 11, 2009 - Italian tribunal delivers Valverde two-year suspension
May 8, 2009 - Valverde case: Italian Olympic Committee defends Torri
May 7, 2009 - Valverde to take legal action against CONI prosecutor
May 5, 2009 - WADA and Spanish federation join CONI and UCI on Valverde
May 1, 2009 - International Cycling Union joins in on Valverde's hearing in Italy

Cyclingnews' complete coverage of Operación Puerto

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