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UCI not afraid of Valverde

The UCI stood firm today in its assertion that Spaniard Alejandro Valverde is not eligible for the World Championships in Stuttgart, confident that any legal action which might be attempted by the rider will not impact cycling's governing body. Valverde's spokesman indicated earlier this week that the rider would send a letter giving the UCI an ultimatum - allow him to ride at Worlds or face a lawsuit.

"We are extremely serene - our lawyers work with the greatest care," the UCI spokesman, Enrico Carpani told AFP. Carpani declined to go into further detail. "He wrote to us but it does not rest with to us to reveal the contents of the letter," Carpani declared, and reiterated that Valverde is not eligible to ride the World Championships.

The UCI claims to have new evidence linking Valverde to the Operación Puerto doping scandal which they culled from the 6,000 page dossier on the case, and opened an investigation into the matter in late August. With the open investigation, the rider becomes ineligible to race the UCI championships. Valverde has repeatedly denied any involvement in the scandal, and has the support of the Spanish federation, which declined to open its own investigation despite being asked to do so by the UCI.

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