Tribunal overturns previous decision of Slovenian national Olympic committee

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has overturned a decision of the Senate of the Olympic Committee of Slovenia (OCS) to exonerate former AG2R-La Mondiale rider Tadej Valjavec from charges brought against him relating to irregularities in his biological passport and has banned him for two years.

The 34-year-old, now riding for UCI continental team Zheroquadro Radenska, was suspended by AG2R prior to last year’s Giro d’Italia, in which he had been due to ride.

In a statement issued today, CAS said that it had “set aside the decision of the OCS to exonerate the athlete from any doping offence and has imposed a two-year ban on him starting on 20 January 2011, as well as the disqualification of all his results obtained between 19 April and 30 September 2009 and a fine of EUR 52,500.”

It added that it had “found that anti-doping tests performed in April and August 2009 revealed abnormalities in the context of the athlete’s biological passport to a degree which was entirely consistent with blood manipulation. The CAS has therefore confirmed the reliability of the indirect method of detection based on the blood profile of athletes and already established in previous CAS decisions concerning the Italian cyclists Pietro Caucchioli and Franco Pellizotti.”

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.