Monday, May 07, 2007

Basso Admits Guilt... Who's Next?


Giro d’Italia winner Ivan Basso has admitted his part in the Operacion Puerto blood doping scandal.

The 29-year-old was one of over 50 riders implicated in the affair that broke on the eve of last year's Tour de France, though until now had strenuously denied any wrongdoing.

An initial trial in front of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) saw Basso acquitted, though a DNA test confirming former T-Mobile leader Jan Ullrich's involvement last month led to further speculation over the Italian's innocence, and he has now admitted his involvement in the doping ring run by Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes.

“The office of the anti-doping prosecutor has heard news of Ivan Basso today [Monday]. He has, by and large, admitted responsibility regarding Operacion Puerto,” CONI said in a statement.

The Committee also revealed that Basso had offered his full co-operation in helping authorities ascertain the details of his involvement.

Justice finally caught up with Basso, just as it had with Ullrich, when Spanish authorities finally agreed to release bags of blood labelled “Birillo”, the name of Basso's dog, to CONI.

Last week Basso quit the Discovery Channel team he had joined after parting with Danish outfit CSC last autumn.