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Valverde hearing date set

The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) has set May 11 as the date for its anti-doping hearing involving Caisse d'Epargne's Spanish star Alejandro Valverde.

CONI carried a brief announcement on its website stating: "The National Anti-Doping Tribunal, chaired by Francesco Plotinus, announced that the hearing in the case of Spanish rider Valverde has been scheduled for May 11, 2009 at 10.15 [08.15 GMT]."

Earlier this month CONI requested a two-year sanction for Valverde for an alleged violation of article 2.2 of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code. It's based on testing done to ascertain whether blood found in the clinic of Dr Eufemiano Fuentes, which contains traces of EPO, matches that taken from the Spanish rider during the second rest day of last year's Tour de France.

Valverde's lawyers have already asked the Department of Public Prosectuion to forward CONI evidence against the rider to Spanish sporting justice authorities as they are the "only" ones with jurisdiction in this case. Valverde is still free to race in the meantime, which means he will compete in two of his 'pet' events, the Ardennes Classics Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Flèche Wallonne.

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