May 07, 2007
Basso admits Puerto involvement in face of DNA test
Ivan Basso came clean today. At a hearing with an Italian anti-doping prosecutor, the defending Giro d'Italia champion admitted his involvement in blood doping.
Basso, 29, told Ettore Torri of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) he was in fact involved with Spanish Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes, and said he would cooperate with the ongoing CONI investigations. Facing a likely DNA test to confirm or deny his involvement with the doping ring, Basso looks likely to be suspended from all racing for 2 years, and from ProTour teams for an additional 2 years.
Italian cycling federation head Renato Di Rocco:
The head of the Italian cycling federation Renato Di Rocco applauded Basso's decision to collaborate, telling the Gazzetta dello Sport, "Ivan has done exactly what everyone asked of Pantani, and Marco didn't do; now, we ask in the name of cycling to not leave Ivan Basso alone."
UCI president Pat McQuaid:
"Most of all I am very sad that a talented rider like Basso seems to have been involved in some illicit practices," he said. "On the other hand I'm trying to look at this news in a more positive light. Our constant efforts, with our other cycling partners, to put cyclists under pressure are paying off.
"Right now it's not easy to break the rules," he added.
Basso is expected to hold a press conference tomorrow to make a public statement.
AP Sports quotes Basso's lawyer that no further bombshells are expected: “ ‘This kind of activity was carried out individually,’ Martelli said in a telephone interview. ‘He never saw or heard of other riders.’ ”
Gazzetta dello Sport (in Italian) | Basso confessa: "Tolto un peso dalla coscienza"
This is sad news. It seems that many of the top-tier riders competing during the "Armstrong Era" felt that the only way to match up to Mr. Lance was through questionable means -- Ullrich, Heras, Hamilton, Basso, etc.
Perhaps it's a turning point, but it's tough to root for anyone while wondering whether they're on something and will shortly be found out/stripped of titles/etc.
When we look back at 2005/06/07, how many of the "winners" of the grand tours will be the person who stood on the podium? Heras's win passed to Menchov, Basso's Giro win possibly to Gutiérrez, and Landis's Tour victory to Perreo..?
Posted by: Gary C at May 7, 2007 5:12:35 PM
Basso.... you dope. I thought he was talented but I guess not.
Posted by: TX2Step at May 7, 2007 5:37:18 PM
Better late than never, I guess...I'm glad Basso fessed up. The truly sad part is that if he had admitted fault a year ago, he would be only one year away from getting his career back on track. I hope he is setting an example for other pros who are burying their conscience with their career...but it's their choice.
Posted by: Reality Bites at May 8, 2007 10:31:49 AM
Who cares at this point.... the frenchie's rigged the test on Floyd... they could not stomach another American winning the TDF...
Posted by: Sickofthewholematter at May 10, 2007 2:29:56 PM