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.
Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.