By Antonio J. Salmerón and Monika Prell
Alejandro Valverde missed an out-of-competition control on June 23 during the lead-up to the Tour de France. The UCI has given him opportunity to defend himself within ten days according to todociclismo.com. Similar circumstances led to the ejection of Michael Rasmussen from the Tour de France and an eventual dismissal from Team Rabobank. However, Valverde's representatives have indicated the UCI knew of his location since it was the day before he rode the Eindhoven Team Time Trial.
"Just embarrassing," said Eugenio Bermúdez, the secretary of the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC). "It seems to me embarrassing and cheap that the UCI asks Valverde to present his evidence, and it threatens him with an admonition. He is able to demonstrate his absence through his plane ticket. Furthermore, in the race he passed the [anti-doping] control. The UCI has pulled out some items that are not compatible with the reality."
According to Alejandro Valverde's manager, Sánchez Sabater, "the Caisse d'Epargne rider received an e-mail (in English) from the UCI saying that he had to justify where he was last June 23 when a doctor from the UCI could not find him at his home in Murcia."
Sabater noted to Cyclingnews that the UCI knew of his whereabouts. "We sent a fax [June 12] to UCI in which we indicated that the 23rd, 24th and 25th of June Valverde was going to be competing in Eindhoven [team time trial]. In this sense, we do not understand why the UCI has sent an e-mail like that to Alejandro Valverde, requesting him to justify his absence. He had already communicated it [to the UCI]. Furthermore, Valverde had to pass an anti-doping control while he was racing at Eindhoven."
Valverde showed this e-mail from the UCI to Spanish Federation members. They "helped him to translate the content of this mentioned writing into Spanish," Sabater recalled to Cyclingnews.
"We will undertake legal actions against all those that attempt to discredit Valverde, including the UCI. [Alejandro Valverde is angry] with all of these false accusations, and insists on his innocence."