BASSO AGREES TO DNA TEST
Ivan Basso has told Italian newspaper Il Giornale that he is willing to undergo DNA testing to show if the four bags of blood marked ‘2’ and ‘Birillo’ found in Madrid during Operacion Puerto are his.
Speaking for the first time since being suspended by the Discovery Channel team after the Italian Olympic Committee's anti-doping office reopened an investigation into his involvement in Operacion Puerto, Basso attacked the investigation calling it ‘time bomb justice’.
Basso has been summoned to appear before the Italian Olympic Committee anti-doping investigators in Rome on May 2.
“I’ll be there on May 2 to understand what new things I’m facing. My DNA? I’ve already given my permission to everybody, my team and even to the anti-doping investigators,” Basso told Il Giornale.
Basso went cycling with some of his supporters on Wednesday. He said he would to carry on fighting to clear his name and criticised the reopening of the doping investigation.
“I rode with a few of my fans that support me. They encouraged me to keep going and not give up. I’m not going to give up, I’m going to carry on. I’m strong minded,” he said.
“However, I feel really frustrated. If these latest events had emerged in December or January, everything would have been clarified and closed now, for good or bad. Instead new documents have suddenly arrived two weeks before the start of the race (the Giro d’Italia). First they let me train like a donkey and they say: ‘Sorry, please stop and explain…’ That’s a time bomb form of justice.”
Basso has always denied doping or links to Operacion Puerto and Italian anti-doping investigators suspended their probe last September.
However, according to reports in La Repubblica and Corriere della Sera newspapers on Tuesday, the anti-doping investigators have discovered further evidence and had also obtained bags suspected to contain Basso's blood from Spain and wanted to compare them with his DNA.
On Thursday the former editor of the influential Gazzetta dello Sport paper called on Basso to go to Rome ‘in short sleeves and offer his arm’.
“He has to offer his arm or else he can’t ride the Giro or the Tour,” Candido Cannavo said.