June 15, 2007
Basso gets 2-year suspension
Ivan Basso received a two-year supension for doping today.
The 2006 Giro d'Italia champion, who was 3rd in the 2004 Tour and 2nd in 2005, admitted in May that he was a client of Eufemiano Fuentes, the doctor at the center of the Operación Puerto investigation. Basso maintained that he hadn't actually doped, but only banked blood he intended to use at the 2006 Tour.
“I accept the sentence," Basso said. "I'm going to continue to train and plan to return in 2009. I've got to look to the future.”
The Associated Press reports that Basso's suspension ends October 24, 2008, because “Basso was already suspended for nearly eight months by his teams this year and last.” Apparently, they're adding the ~6 months, including some outside the racing season, that CSC held Basso out of competition, and the nearly 2 months since Discovery Channel suspended him, and backdating the suspension. That seems a little unfair, since Basso was in competition at the Tour of California and Tirreno-Adriatico during that time. Thoughts?
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Interesting. Are they adding the time off between the 2006 Giro and the 2006 Tour? What a sweet deal. Is the Protour going to institute it's additional 2 years or will Basso get "time served" on that as well.
Posted by: Pelotonjim at Jun 15, 2007 5:51:06 PM
The backdating is good; so that way the soon he can get back to racing and try to salvage his career.
Posted by: speeddemononskis at Jun 16, 2007 1:18:25 AM
how can you suspend someone "who only thought or planned on blood doping" ... what kind of a farce is that. Are you guilty if you PLAN to drive down the freeway at 200k an hour but never put your foot down to the metal? Are you guilty of anything if you plan on taking all of your neighbor's apples from his tree, but never do. Let the guy ride for Pete's sake! Ride Basso Ride!
Posted by: vanni at Jun 18, 2007 7:38:10 PM
Yes i agree you can't suspend somebody from thinking of a crime but he did more then just think. I thought he actually gave the doctor his blood so he could dope later in the season.
Yes it isn't a crime to think about stealing your neighbors apples but if i took an empty bag and went into his background. Now im actually doing something more then thinking
Posted by: Ray M at Jun 19, 2007 2:09:27 PM
"how can you suspend someone "who only thought or planned on blood doping" ... what kind of a farce is that."
This was not the reason for his suspension. It is merely the lesser charge to which he pleaded. He willingly accepted this bargain to avoid some greater embarassment.
Posted by: nevins at Jun 19, 2007 10:03:52 PM
His 'attempted doping' defence is a little farcical though. In general, recourse to doping reflects a desire for success that the athlete does not believe they can gain naturally. Basso claims he 'attempted' to dope after winning the Giro in crushing fashion (over 9 mins) and heading into a Tour de France where his strongest competition would be the perennially uninspiring Ullrich. Why would any athlete in that position risk his livelihood and reputation by doping? It doesn't make any sense. Far more logical is that the use of blood doping explains his incredible performances in 2006- perhaps Simoni was right after all.
Posted by: Ali Birchall at Jun 24, 2007 11:16:35 PM
The problem for cycling is that even banning one guy severely is not going to make a dent in the big scheme of things because there is a culture of drug use in cycling that first needs to be undone. Check out
if you don't believe that.
Posted by: John at Jun 25, 2007 1:17:47 PM