UCI block Valverde press conference

Alejandro Valverde winning the race in 2006 before Puerto

Alejandro Valverde winning the race in 2006 before Puerto (Image credit: Sirotti)

Movistar has been forced to cancel tomorrow’s unveiling of new signing Alejandro Valverde after the UCI stepped in and blocked a planned press conference in Madrid.

The Spaniard, who is currently serving a doping related suspension, signed a new deal, which was announced last week. However the sport’s governing body told the team that while Valverde was serving a suspension he was unable to take part in any team functions.

“He is suspended and when a rider is suspended he can’t take part in any official activities. He can’t sign a contract, train in the team kit, because you are suspended,” a UCI spokesperson told Cyclingnews.

In press release Movistar said: “The International Cycling Union (UCI) has not permitted the presence by the rider in the event by virtue of an interpretation of the international rules which we show in strong disagreement with, but which we have to obey to avoid any disciplinary measures its breach would result in.”

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 the UCI and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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Daniel Benson

Daniel Benson was the Editor in Chief at Cyclingnews.com between 2008 and 2022. Based in the UK, he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he ran the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.