Ivan Basso will be banned from the sport for two years

Pat McQuaid as President of the Union Cycliste Internationale is adamant that Ivan Basso will be banned from the sport for two years. ‘If he is of the impression through his national federation Italy, that owning up to his involvement in Operacion Puerto, that he will be treated leniently and get less than the mandatory two years, he is not in the real world. Plus his latest statement is bizarre to say the least,’ said McQuaid as he prepared to leave for Moscow.

A day after admitting to be involved in Operacion Puerto, Ivan Basso has given a press conference in Milano.

Most important in his speech was denying of ever having used the blood which was found in Eufemiano Fuentes’ clinic. According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Basso stated: “In my career I have never used doping products or resorted to blood transfusions.”

Although being suspended now, the Italian plans a come-back. “I will serve my suspension and then return to race. I know that returning will make me feel better; I think that the group will accept me.

“I am fully aware that an attempt at doping is tantamount to doping, but I am asking to be excused for this and that should be enough,” he added.

Basso claimed that he achieved all of his victories, including the 2006 Giro d’Italia, without any doping. “All my victories were obtained in an honest manner and nobody can contest what I achieved in the 2006 Giro d’Italia no more than the other results I achieved during my career.”

Although the former Team CSC and Discovery Channel rider announced to be willing to co-operate in further investigations, he refused to say any names. “I can’t vouch for the honour of my colleagues, who wins honestly, like I have always done.”

Moreover, he claims that he all did it individually, without any involvement of other cyclists. “There is talk about how I am a repenter, or a collaborator. I want to clarify that I was not asked about the other people involved, further, I don’t know of riders or other people involved.”

Reflecting about his decision to admit his plans of doping use, he said that “it was a weak moment, but I am aware that attempting to dope is the same as doping. I will serve my sentence and return to the work I love.

“I will assume my responsibilities, confronting my family, who has stood beside me in my decision,” Basso concluded.

This coming Sunday, the attention turns to balbriggan for the Noel and Kieran Hammond Memorials’.

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