GENEVA – The Swiss supreme court said Monday that it had thrown out Spanish cyclist Alejandro Valverde’s final attempt to overturn a worldwide anti-doping ban that was based on evidence from Operation Puerto.
The judges rejected Valverde appeal against a Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decision enforcing the two-year global suspension as “unfounded” in a ruling handed down on January 3, the Swiss Federal Tribunal said in a statement.
Valverde, winner of the 2009 Tour of Spain, was banned from racing on Italian territory for two years in May 2009 partly on the basis of evidence from the Spanish “Operation Puerto” doping investigation.
Italian authorities took a blood sample from the Spaniard at the 2008 Tour de France when it passed through Italy, and it matched one of the blood bags containing the banned booster EPO (erythropoietin) from the 2006 Puerto raid.
A year later the Lausanne-based CAS upheld a bid by the International Cycling Union (UCI) to give the ban global effect.
“From the Federal Tribunal’s point of view… there is nothing to stand in the way of expanding sanctions against the Spanish cyclist to the whole world,” the Swiss supreme court said.
It ruled that both of Valverde’s grounds for appeal, on procedural matters and an objection to the CAS decision on legal principle, “were considered to be unfounded.”
Valverde had lost a similar final appeal over the Italian sanction in November.
File Photo: CorVos