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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

Cycling News Flash for May 7, 2007

Edited by Laura Weislo with assistance from Tim Maloney

Basso confesses his involvement in Operación Puerto

Ivan Basso
Photo ©: Gerry McManus
(Click for larger image)

According to the Gazzetta dello Sport's Valerio Piccioni, Ivan Basso has confessed his involvement in Operación Puerto to the antidoping prosecutor Ettore Torri of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI). Today in Rome, CONI issued communiqué saying "Ivan Basso has largely admitted his responsibility relative to Operación Puerto and has provided the maximum collaboration to clarify the facts relative to his involvement."

Basso and his lawyer Massimo Martelli met with Torri for two hours in a legal office in the centre of Rome, where the confession of the winner of the 2006 Giro d'Italia winner came of his own accord.

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."

Although no further information has been released by Torri or the Italian Olympic Committee, there is speculation that Basso may receive a retroactive two-year suspension that could allow him to come back in time to ride the 2008 Giro d'Italia.

On Sunday, prior to today's announcement, Cyclingnews spoke with UCI president Pat McQuaid concerning speculation that a deal might be done between Basso and CONI. "There is no provision for a reduced sentence," he said then. "The WADA rules apply and the minimum sentence is two years, whether it is for admittance or non-admittance of an offence. The only time when you get less than two years is if you can prove it was mistaken or it was taken in foodstuffs, that kind of thing. But if you have been willingly involved in a doping activity, it is two years.

"I don't want to speculate on it [prior to such a deal being agreed - ed.], but the option is there for either the UCI or WADA to appeal to CAS."

Ivan Basso has not yet issued a statement, but a press conference is expected on Tuesday.

Cyclingnews' recent coverage of 'Operación Puerto'

May 18, 2009 - Valverde to start Catalunya
May 15, 2009 - Valverde not welcome in Denmark
May 14, 2009 - Spanish federation wants proof in Valverde case
May 13, 2009 - Spanish Olympic Committee defends Valverde
May 12, 2009 - Valverde responds to sanction
May 11, 2009 - Italian tribunal delivers Valverde two-year suspension
May 8, 2009 - Valverde case: Italian Olympic Committee defends Torri
May 7, 2009 - Valverde to take legal action against CONI prosecutor
May 5, 2009 - WADA and Spanish federation join CONI and UCI on Valverde
May 1, 2009 - International Cycling Union joins in on Valverde's hearing in Italy

Cyclingnews' complete coverage of Operación Puerto

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