Further appeal to European Court of Human Rights now the final recourse left to 2009 Vuelta winner

Switzerland’s highest court, The Federal Supreme Court, has thrown out an appeal by Spanish cyclist Alejandro Valverde against his suspension earlier this year by Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and CONI, the Italian Olympic Committee.

The 30-year-old rider, winner of the 2009 Vuelta, is currently banned until January 2012 after the CAS ruled against him in May this year in an action brought by the UCI and the World Anti-doping Agency.

That ruling extended a ban previously imposed on the cyclist by CONI after blood samples taken from the Caisse d’Epargne rider when the 2009 Tour de France made a brief excursion into Italy were found to be a DNA match for blood contained in codenamed blood bags previously seized by the Spanish authorities under Operacion Puerto.

According to an Associated Press report on ESPN.com, the Swiss court also told Valverde to pay court costs of $4,130 as well as $5,160 each towards legal costs incurred by the UCI, WADA and CONI.

The report added that according to statements made by the cyclist’s lawyers in May, in the event the Swiss federal case went against him, as it has now done, he would have the option of making a further appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

It is not yet known whether Valverde now intends to pursue that course of action.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.