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Switzerland’s top court rejects appeal by Alejandro Valverde

Switzerland’s top court has reject an appeal by Alejandro Valverde, who had sought to overturn an earlier a Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling suspending him until 2012.

Switzerland’s top court has reject an appeal by Alejandro Valverde, who had sought to overturn an earlier a Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling suspending him until 2012.

Alejandro Valverde, 2nd at 0:26. | Graham Watson photo
Valverde remains suspended until 2012. | Graham Watson photo

CAS had ruled in favor of request by the World Anti-Doping Agency and the UCI to impose a global ban after Italian authorities had suspended the 2009 Vuelta a España winner from competing in that country.

The original Italian decision involved a truly international network of events. Valverde’s blood was tested during after he submitted samples following a stage of the Tour de France that had finished in Italy. DNA profiles from those samples were compared to evidence seized in the 2006 Operación Puerto investigation in Spain.

Valverde appealed the CAS ruling on the basis of the Italian’s use of evidence seized – but not formally released – by authorities in Spain. The Swiss court ruled that the use of such evidence was appropriate and declined to send the case back to CAS for further adjudication.

Valverde then appealed, arguing that WADA and CAS lacked the authority to expand the Italian suspension to include other countries.

“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 court noted in its decision.

Valverde’s attorneys said Monday that they are considering an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. The Spanish rider’s suspension expires in January of next year.