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Zabel supports Valverde's worlds participation

Erik Zabel, the German winner of stage seven of the Vuelta a España spoke out against the UCI's decision to ban Spanish rider Alejandro Valverde from the road world championships in Stuttgart, Germany.

"It's not good that the UCI or national federations say this rider or that rider is not welcome at a race," Zabel said to reports at the Vuelta according to Reuters. "Everybody should respect the rules, including the federations and the UCI. If a rider's positive, for example, then of course he should be excluded."

Zabel has cause to speak. In May, he confessed to the use of EPO in 1996, and his own participation in worlds has been a subject of controversy. Organizers eventually allowed him to plan to race based on his "good behavior" surrounding his confession.

Referring to the actions against Valverde, Zabel said, "It's typically German to want to make everything 120 percent good.The problem of doping exists, but at the moment, maybe in Germany there's an over-reaction."

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