Alejandro Valverde’s career might soon come to a close as the World Anti-Doping Agency is pushing to have the Spaniard under a two-year ban from the sport. Olivier Niggli, WADA legal attorney shares that WADA is unhappy over Valverde who continues to compete and bag wins even if there is evidence that links him to the Operación Puerto doping scandal in 2006.
In March 2010, the Court of Arbitration for Sport cemented Valverde’s ban in Italy. Another sanction is expected but Niggli is afraid that it would be backdated to May 2009. This will mean that Valverde can come back to the sport in 2011.
Niggli shares his apprehension, “This is the biggest risk we face in this affair. This affair is frustrating. It’s really unbearable to see Valverde winning the Tour de Romandie while he has been banned (in Italy). We have a decision from the Court of Arbitration for Sport which has confirmed it is his blood, that it contained EPO, and confirms that Valverde is a cheat. And, despite all this, he continues to compete. But we are following this case very closely in respect of all the procedures and we’re waiting to act.”
Valverde recently won the Tour of Romandie in Switzerland. He was not allowed to race in Italy after the blood sample taken from him in 2008 Tour de France, matched one of the blood bags that were part of the 2006 raid.
However, without the evidence needed to incriminate the Spaniard, the UCI has its hands tied and cannot extend the ban worldwide. The entire incident cost WADA about half a million dollars but CAS might just put an end to this and sanction the worldwide ban for Valverde.
Via Velo News