The organizers of Spain’s Vuelta a Murcia, which begins Wednesday, have refused to admit Italian teams, an action in solidarity with Alejandro Valverde who has been banned from competing in Italy.
“There will be no Italian teams participating due to the fact that they aren’t letting Valverde race in that country,” Guzmán told the Spanish sports daily AS. “Alejandro is Murcia’s best rider and I don’t want them in our race.”
Oddly enough, Valverde will not be toeing the line at Murcia as most Spanish teams have skipped the race over an ongoing dispute with the Spanish Cycling Federation over money. The U.S.-based RadioShack team will be in attendance, with American Lance Armstrong using the race to launch his 2010 European campaign.
Valverde, whose two-year ban in Italy was by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) for his involvement in the Operación Puerto case, has appealed the penalty to the International Court of Arbitration for Sports, which will soon announce its decision.