- Article published:
- September 27, 2007, 1:00 BST
- Shane Stokes in Stuttgart, Germany
By Shane Stokes in Stuttgart, Germany Spanish rider Alejandro Valverde will be allowed to ride the...
By Shane Stokes in Stuttgart, Germany
Spanish rider Alejandro Valverde will be allowed to ride the elite men's road race on Sunday after the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled Wednesday against the UCI's bid to keep him out of the World Championships.
Valverde is suspected of involvement in Operación Puerto but despite a request earlier this month from the UCI asking the Spanish federation not to select him for the race, his name was put forward as part of the squad. Both sides agreed to let CAS settle the case, and Wednesday's ruling means that there is now no barrier to his involvement.
"The UCI lost today the case with Valverde, the case against the Spanish federation," explained President Pat McQuaid to a packed conference room in the Stuttgart world championship media centre. "As you all know, the UCI had agreed to go to CAS and we now accept their decision. The Court of Arbitration for Sport makes sports-related decisions and we accept it as a sports-related decision. It doesn't to our mind indicate that he has been cleared or that he is not implicated in Puerto or anything like that; it just means that they don't feel that the elements are there to prevent us from allowing him to start on Sunday. So Alejandro Valverde will take the start on Sunday."
As McQuaid indicated, CAS has not yet explained the full reasons for its decision. However the latter issued a press release on Wednesday evening which provided some brief details.
"The parties and their representatives were heard today during a hearing at the CAS Court Office in Lausanne, Switzerland," stated the communiqué. "The CAS panel was composed of a sole arbitrator, Mr Quentin Byrne-Sutton from Switzerland."
"The Sole Arbitrator considered that a ban imposed on a cyclist, not yet recognised as guilty of doping, from participating in the World Championships constituted a form of advance sanction. The Sole Arbitrator noted that...