Zabel, Valverde not welcome in Stuttgart

Stuttgart World Championships organising committee president, Susanne Eisenmann, has she doesn't...

Stuttgart World Championships organising committee president, Susanne Eisenmann, has she doesn't want Eric Zabel or Alejandro Valverde contesting this year's race in Germany, according to German paper Stuttgarter Nachrichten. German Zabel confessed earlier this year to trying performance enhancing drugs during the 90s, while Valverde's name has been linked with the Spanish civil guard's Operación Puerto doping ring inquiry.

"The participation of some riders does not fit in with our plans to give cycling a fresh start," said Eisenmann, in a reaction to Zabel saying that the Worlds are his biggest objective for the year. The German cycling federation, BDR, is expected to make a decision on Zabel's participation in the nation's squad by month's end.

According to the rules set out by the BDR, riders who are under suspicion of doping are prohibited from representing the nation at major events such as World Championships or the Olympic Games. Zabel is still very popular in his native Germany, despite his confession to using EPO during the 1996 Tour de France, which led to him being stripped of being the ambassador for the worlds.

Eisenmann is also against Valverde's participation in Stuttgart, due to his alleged involvement with Doctor Eufemiano Fuentes. "I am against him competing, but legally I cannot stop him from starting the race," said Eisemann. German Andreas Klöden, who rides for the embattled Astana ProTour team, must be "treated as innocent until proven guilty" concluded Eisenmann.

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