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Court of Arbitration for Sport rules in favor of UCI, suspends Tadej Valjavec

  • By Charles Pelkey
  • Published Apr. 22, 2011
  • Updated Apr. 22, 2011 at 11:06 AM EDT

Valjavec led the 2009 Tour de Suisse, and eventually finished seventh. Friday's ruling, however, removes those results from the record books.

The International Court of Arbitration for Sport has ruled in favor of the UCI in its challenge to the Slovenian cycling federation’s inaction in the case of Tadej Valjavec, whose blood profile triggered his firing based on the UCI’s Biological Passport program.

AG2R-La Mondiale fired Valjavec last year after the UCI announced that blood parameters on his biological passport showed signs of suspected manipulation. However, the Slovenian federation declined to take disciplinary action against Valjavec, who has twice ridden to top-10 GC finishes at the Giro d’Italia and finished 10th in the 2008 Tour de France.

The UCI filed an appeal with CAS in September, 2010.

In a decision released Friday, the court imposed a two-year suspension, which formally began on January 20 2011, and fined Valjavec 52,500 Euros ($76,000). The ruling also negates any results Valjavec obtained between April 19th and September 30th of 2009.

The decision marks the third successive case in which the court has supported the UCI’s position regarding suspensions triggered by suspicious parameters reported in the Biological Passport program, even though none of the riders tested positive for banned substances. Earlier this year, the court affirmed the suspensions of Pietro Caucchioli and Franco Pellizotti, whose profiles also showed signs of manipulation.

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