Alexa

Spanish federation backs Valverde to race at worlds despite UCI ban

Spanish federation backs Valverde to race at worlds despite UCI ban

Alejandro Valverde will remain on the Spanish roster for the Road World Championships despite being banned by the International Cycling Union.
"We're going ahead with Valverde, I suppose, until at least someone advises us not to," Spain coach Francisco Antequera said Friday. "Alejandro passed a control in the preselection ... nothing has changed in the slightest."
The worlds will take place in Stuttgart, Germany, from Sept. 26-30.
The UCI banned Valverde on Wednesday and wants disciplinary proceedings into the rider's alleged involvement in the Operation Puerto doping scandal.
Spanish cycling federation president Fulgencio Sanchez said he was not ready to open proceedings since no new evidence from the doping scandal had been introduced since last year.
"The UCI, as it has demonstrated before and on the Tour, always wants to impose its way in events that don't fall under their influence," Sanchez said. "The intention is for (Valverde) to go and, if he is prohibited, then they (UCI) will have to present this case that can exclude a rider who has not been sanctioned."
After examining a 6,000-page dossier from the Spanish district attorney, the UCI said it requested the Spanish federation open proceedings against Valverde after concluding he could have violated doping rules.
The Puerto scandal broke in May 2006 when Spanish authorities arrested five people on suspicion of helping athletes with blood doping after seizing bags of frozen blood and doping equipment from several Madrid offices.
One of the pre-race favorites, Valverde finished sixth at last month's Tour de France.