The International Cycling Union has denied reports published in the Spanish Meta2mil magazine that it tried to reach a deal with Alejandro Valverde, offering him a reduction to his suspension in exchange for a confession to his involvement in the Operacion Puerto blood doping investigation.
According to Meta2Mil, the UCI offered Valverde a reduced sentence and the possibility of keeping his race victories from 2010. He would have been able to return to racing in July 2011. However Meta2mil claimed Valverde refused to drop his appeal to the Court of Arbitration in Sport or admit that bag blood number 18 discovered during Operacion Puerto and labelled Valv.Piti is his.
The UCI responded to the story by issuing a stern statement denying any negotiations had taken place.
“The UCI firmly denies the existence of such a negotiation with the lawyers of Mr. Valverde, and does not know how or where this info came out. Rejecting categorically this allegation, the UCI also wishes to make clear that the sanction decided by the CAS - until 31 December 2011 - is confirmed.”
Immediately after his suspension was confirmed by the Court for Arbitration for Sport, Valverde announced he would make a further appeal to the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland.