Spanish cyclist Alejandro Valverde will make his comeback from a two-year doping ban at this month's Tour Down Under, the opening event of cycling's 2012 ProTour.
Valverde was stripped of his No. 1 world ranking and banned for two years from January 2010 after being implicated in Operation Puerto, a blood-doping ring involving more than 50 riders.
While he never tested positive for a banned drug, Valverde was reportedly linked to the doping ring by DNA evidence seized in police raids in 2006 on the Madrid clinic of sports physician Eufemiano Fuentes.
The International Cycling Union (UCI) and the World Anti-Doping Agency successfully applied to the Court of Arbitration of Sport for sanctions to be imposed on Valverde. Spanish cycling authorities had previously been reluctant to act against him, saying they were constrained by national laws.
The UCI first tried to ban Valverde from the 2007 world cycling championships, but the Spaniard successfully appealed to the CAS. He continue...