Alejandro Valverde may have completed the sporting ban which was the consequence of a protracted Operacion Puerto case, but the Spaniard's punishment is not yet concluded: the UCI confirmed to Cyclingnews that none of his points will count toward his team's sporting criteria - the ranking which is used by the UCI in determining which teams will be in the following year's WorldTour. Indeed, none of his points will count for the next two seasons.
Valverde is currently sitting in second in the WorldTour rankings after coming in as the runner-up to GreenEdge's Simon Gerrans at the Tour Down Under, and while his results will add to the team's tally for the WorldTour rankings, it will not help his Movistar team when it comes time for the UCI to figure out who stays and who goes in the 2013 WorldTour. The UCI ranks the teams by rider points accumulated, team points and other criteria such as ethical and financial merits, with only the top 15 teams earning automatic consideration for the next WorldTour season.
The UCI took the decision to disqualify riders who are returning from bans from scoring points toward the team rankings for two years following their return from a anti-doping rule violation. The rule was ratified by the Pro Cycling Council in Copenhagen last autumn.
Earlier in 2011, the idea was presented to the PCC by former Credit Agricole manager Roger Legeay, and was accepted for consideration by the UCI's management committee. Teams association (AIGCP) president Jonathan Vaughters confirmed that he voted in favour of the rule on behalf of the teams in the Copenhagen meeting. "It was supported by the majority of the teams. Its a good rule, I think," Vaughters said.