The public tug-of-war over Spaniard Alejandro Valverde's participation in the World Championships reached a new level of intensity on Saturday after the UCI upheld its decision to exclude the rider from the race in Stuttgart at the month's end. The UCI reiterated that Valverde is officially under investigation for alleged doping, and according to the organisation's rules, he cannot compete. This comes one day after Spain defied the UCI and registered Valverde to ride despite the UCI's insistence that he was not allowed.
Valverde had been the target of suspicions of involvement in the blood doping scandal dubbed Operación Puerto after bags of blood labelled "valv. piti" were alleged to have been amongst the items seized at a Madrid clinic in 2006. Valverde and his Caisse d'Epargne team have vehemently denied the rider has any links to the clinic, and has been allowed to race the entire season, including the Tour de France.
The UCI announced last month that it had uncovered new evidence against Valverde while sifting through some 6,000 pages of evidence relating to the case, and placed the Spaniard under official investigation.
According to AFP, the UCI stated that, "This inquiry does not in any way imply that Alejandro Valverde is guilty," only that he is under investigation, and the organisation is bound to follow its own rules.