Alejandro Valverde Loses Final Appeal to Reverse Suspension
Alejandro Valverde has lost his final appeal to Switzerland's supreme court to overturn a doping suspension.
Spanish cyclist Alejandro Valverde has lost his final appeal to Switzerland's supreme court to overturn a doping suspension.
The Swiss Federal Tribunal said Monday it dismissed Valverde's challenge to a Court of Arbitration for Sport decision which banned the 2009 Spanish Vuelta winner until January 2012.
The CAS ruled last May in favor of the International Cycling Union and World Anti-Doping Agency.
The two organizations wanted the 30-year-old Spaniard banned worldwide after he'd been excluded from racing in Italy.
The cases centered on Italian authorities being allowed to use evidence seized in Spain during the Operation Puerto investigation.
Italian anti-doping officials matched a blood sample taken from Valverde during the 2008 Tour de France with a blood bag containing EPO that was found in a Madrid clinic connected to a sports doping ring.
Swiss federal judges upheld the right to use the evidence in a previous ruling against Valverde.
Although Lausanne-based CAS is sport's highest court of appeal, the federal tribunal can order a re-trial if it believes the legal process was abused.
Last year, Valverde's legal team said he could take his case to the European Court of Human Rights.
Valverde was number one in the UCI's world rankings when CAS ordered him to serve a two-year ban. The ruling also stripped Valverde of his 2010 results, including victory in the Tour de Romandie and second place in the Paris-Nice.