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Alejandro Valverde loses global doping ban appeal

Alejandro Valverde
Valverde was ranked number one in the world when he was banned

Alejandro Valverde has lost a final appeal to overturn his two-year doping ban at Switzerland's supreme court.

The Spaniard, 30, was challenging a Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) decision to suspend him until 2012.

The Cas ruling came after an appeal by the International Cycling Union (UCI) and World Anti-Doping Agency to have Valverde's Italian ban made worldwide.

He was banned from Italy after blood containing Erythropoietin (EPO) and his matching DNA was located in Madrid.

The suspension covers two years from 1 January 2010, though his prior results stand as Cas decided at the time there was no evidence to suggest doping had contributed to his previous performances.

However, he was disqualified from all events in the 2010 season prior to the worldwide ban being initiated in May of that year and asked to reimburse his prize money.

Those results included victory in the Tour de Romandie and a second place in the Paris-Nice stage race.

Valverde, who was the number one ranked rider in the world at the time Cas ordered the two-year suspension, was first banned by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) in May 2009.

That decision came when the body's anti-doping tribunal decided the Spaniard was involved in "Operacion Puerto", a case in which more than 50 cyclists were linked to a suspected doping ring centred on a clinic in Madrid.

DNA taken from Valverde during the Italian stage of the 2008 Tour de France matched blood seized in the operation.

Valverde's appeal against the ban, which was only effective in Italy, was rejected in March 2010, after which the UCI announced their intention to have it extended.

Last May's Cas hearing decided the evidence was sufficient to prove the blood seized came from Valverde, and that the sample contained EPO, a prohibited substance.

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see also
Valverde wins Tour de Romandie
02 May 10 |  Cycling
Valverde loses doping ban appeal
16 Mar 10 |  Cycling
Valverde may miss Tour after ban
11 May 09 |  Cycling
Valverde put under investigation
19 Feb 09 |  Cycling

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