Court rules CONI acted lawfully


MADRID -- A Madrid court has ruled the Italian Olympic Committee acted lawfully in seizing a bag of blood linking Alejandro Valverde to the Operation Puerto doping scandal in 2008.

A justice spokesman said Thursday the decision overturns the ruling of another Spanish court that had deemed the committee's (CONI) actions unlawful.

In 2009, the CONI banned the Spanish rider from competing in Italy for two years. The Court of Arbitration for Sport is considering whether to extend the ban worldwide.

The blood bag was in the possession of Eufemiano Fuentes, who allegedly ran "Puerto," a massive blood doping network for dozens of cyclists.

Valverde leads the International Cycling Union's rankings following his win Sunday in the Tour de Romandie in Switzerland.