Valverde loses final appeal

Spaniard to serve two-year ban

Alejandro Valverde has lost an appeal in the Swiss Federal Supreme Court against his two-year doping ban and so will remain suspended until December 31, 2011.

Valverde never tested positive but was banned in Italy after DNA tests on blood samples linked him to the Operacion Puerto doping scandal. The Spanish Cycling Federation refused to rule on his case but the ban was extended world wide from January 1, 2010 until December 31, 2011 after UCI and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The Swiss court also ordered Valverde to pay 4,000 Swiss francs ($4,100) court costs plus 5,000 Swiss francs ($5,150) toward the legal costs of the UCI, WADA and the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI).

Even though his race results prior to his ban starting on January 1, 2010, were upheld, Valverde continued to race right up to the Court of Arbitration ruling, winning races such as the Tour de Romandie. However, the UCI has since annulled these results.

The Swiss Supreme Court also turned down an appeal by German ice-skating athlete Claudia Pechstein, who fought a ban based on questionable blood values detected through a monitoring system similar to the UCI's biological passport.

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