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Valverde accuses UCI and CONI of vendetta

Alejandro Valverde has accused the presidents of the International Cycling Union (UCI) and the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) of having “an institutional and personal viciousness” against him. The Spaniard also continued to protest against claims that he has been involved in doping, saying, “No banned substance has ever been detected in my body and my biological profile is flawless.”

CONI banned Valverde from racing in Italy for two years after matching his DNA to blood bags taken in Operación Puerto. The UCI is looking to extend the ban worldwide.

Gianni Petrucci, the head of CONI, has said, "It doesn't give a good impression of cycling to see an athlete who continues to compete after the sentence has been confirmed by all agencies, sporting and judicial.” Valverde most recently won the final stage and overall title at the Tour de Romandie on Sunday.

"These statements by these leaders can only be understood within the institutional and personal viciousness that exists against me, and for the sole purpose of putting pressure on institutions, especially the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to make decisions even if this penalty has to go against the applicable regulations," said the Caisse d'Epargne rider.

The accusations "refer to events that allegedly occurred more than six years ago. My main victories (including the Tour of Spain, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Dauphiné Libéré, Tour of Catalonia, stages at the Tour de France, Tour de Romandie) are indisputable," he said. "They seek to cast doubt on the victories gained over my career and to damage my public image."

He added that his attorneys are looking into possible legal action against McQuaid and Petrucci for their statements and the harm to his image.

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