Prudhomme: Valverde unwelcome at Tour

Italian ban to keep Spaniard out of France

Alejandro Valverde will be unable to race the Tour de France this July unless there is a "radical" change in the anti-doping case against him in Italy, according to race director Christian Prudhomme.

"Our race covers 60 kilometres in Italy and his team proposed to us to race ten stages and then take out the rider, but this is an unacceptable solution for us," Prudhomme told Agr.

Team Caisse d'Epargne's Valverde received a two-year suspension from the Italian anti-doping tribunal May 11 for his connections to the 2006 doping investigation Operación Puerto. Investigators compared DNA samples taken during last year's Tour de France – from the rest day in Italy on July 21 – to blood seized in Spain's Operación Puerto investigation.

Valverde took legal action in Spanish courts against the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) last month following the Italian tribunal decision. Spain has not made a ruling.

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