Valverde ban reduction? Forget it says UCI
Valverde will have to sit it out until 2011 even if he does come clean
Alejandro Valverde, can forget about any chance of his two year ban being reduced by cycle sport's governing body the UCI if weekend reports are to be believed. It had been suggested in some quarters that were Valverde to finally admit his guilt and offer to co-operate with the governing body he could expect the length of his ban to be reduced.
However a UCI spokesman this weekend rubbished the suggestion speaking to the Agence France Presse News Agency. Valverde's ban will stand until the end of 2011 – five years after he was first incriminated in the Operation Puerto blood doping scandal by a blood bag which DNA tests proved belonged to him – Valverde has never failed a doping test.
Any idea that the UCI would consider shortening Valverde's ban was always extremely optimistic, the Valverde episode was not only costly for the UCI but also highly embarrassing for the sport. He was first banned by the Italian cycling federation from competing in that country a ban that the UCI did not immediately follow up on, until it had conducted its own tests which took far longer than originally expected. When finally imposed the UCI's ban was challenged by Valverde at the Court for Arbitration in Sport, (CAS) it finally came down on the governing body's side last month. In the interim Valverde continued to compete racking up some notable wins including the Vuelta, and more than once topping the UCI rankings as the best rider in the world.