By Monika Prell
Following the lead of German organizers, who have said they did not want Alejandro Valverde competing in the UCI World Road Championships in Stuttgart, the UCI announced in a statement Wednesday that it was not only prohibiting the Spanish rider from starting the championship event, but that it was also starting disciplinary proceedings against him.
Saying that it was acting in accordance with its regulations, the UCI requested the Spanish cycling federation RFEC "to open disciplinary proceedings against the rider as soon as possible."
"During the meticulous studying of the 6,000-page Puerto dossier, the International Cycling Union (UCI) has concluded that several documents may show the involvement of Alejandro Valverde in the affair," said a statement from the UCI.
The UCI carefully pointed out that the proceedings themselves do not imply guilt on the part of Valverde; however, it noted that if Valverde's involvement in the Puerto affair were confirmed and he were to receive at least a two-year ban, then as a signatory of the "Riders' Commitment to a New Cycling" pledge, he would be obliged to pay the UCI a contribution to the anti-doping campaign of a sum equal to his annual salary for 2007, in addition to any regulatory fines.