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Valverde disputes CAS decision on his Italian ban

Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne)

Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) (Image credit: Patrik Pátek)

Alejandro Valverde and his representatives have challenged the decision announced by the Court of Arbitration for Sport to uphold the two-year ban from racing in Italy that has been imposed on him by the Italian Olympic Committee.

In a statement, the partiality of one of the CAS arbiters was questioned, as was the right to use evidence collected during the Operación Puerto blood doping investigation. It was also claimed that the decision had violated Valverde's basic human rights.

On the first point, the statement claimed that "one of the arbiters is not impartial having worked for the World Anti-Doping Agency". The statement added: "The partiality of this arbiter is being analysed by the Swiss Federal Court, which will making a ruling on this. If the Swiss Federal Court decides that this arbiter is not impartial then the decision the CAS has made today will be meaningless. The impartiality of the arbiters is a necessary part of a just hearing."

Valverde and his representatives also challenged the ability of the CAS to effectively overturn a decision made by the Spanish courts to rule that all evidence secured during the Puerto investigation is inadmissible in any potential prosecution.

The statement read: "The CAS considers illegal… the decision made by the 31st Court of First Instance and confirmed by the Provincial Court of Madrid that prohibits the use of evidence from Operación Puerto. The CAS does not have the competence to rule that a decision made by the Spanish courts is illegal."

With regard to an alleged breach of Valverde's human rights, the statement said that, "the decision of the CAS clearly violates the fundamental rights of the rider, especially the right to a fair trial and the right to privacy".

The statement indicated that Valverde's legal team will challenge the decision made by the CAS in the Swiss Federal Court.

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Peter Cossins has written about professional cycling since 1993 and is a contributing editor to Procycling. He is the author of The Monuments: The Grit and the Glory of Cycling's Greatest One-Day Races (Bloomsbury, March 2014) and has translated Christophe Bassons' autobiography, A Clean Break (Bloomsbury, July 2014).