Mon 4 Dec 2006
Comments Off on Basso prepares for Giro-Tour double, as row with CSC looms
Basso prepares for the Giro-Tour double in 2007, as a row with his former employers at Team CSC looms. The disagreement stems over whether Basso did, or did not, offer Team CSC a DNA test against the blood from Operation Puerto, after Bjarne Riis recently commented that if Basso had offered a DNA profile, he would have been allowed to stay at Team CSC.
Basso claims that he did, commenting: “It was not this difference that ended our agreement; during the investigations of CONI I gave my word to give DNA. There where many things written in the press, but basically my relationship [with Riis] had changed.” (Ivan Basso back on the road – with Discovery Channel [CyclingNews])
But Brian Nygaard (PR boss at Team CSC) is surprised at that comment.. “Earlier, his lawyer has commented that Basso will never do a DNA test as long as he is defending him,” Nygaard said.
But Nygaard hints that for CSC, the situation around the DNA profile was critical. “For us, it is a question of whether you are willing to do everything to prove your innocence, or whether you have to be requested to do so.” According to the interpretation of several media, the supposed situation that Basso was hesitant to do a DNA, is therefore likely the reason for the break from CSC. This is supported by other comments from Nygaard:
“Simply from the fact that this discussion [about whether or not to do a DNA test] could even become relevant, both parties decided that it would be best not to continue our partnership,” Nygaard is quoted as saying.
Basso himself claims that his performance on the road will show whether or not he doped.
“Most people have been behind me in the four months that I was forcefully banned from racing. To all of them I want to say one thing: wait until I return to the major stages races to see what I’m capable of. It is the only possible way of showing that my implication (in Spain) was a total nonsense. My name has never appeared in this Spanish investigation,” Basso is quoted as saying.
Regardless of the situation, it seems the controversy of Operation Puerto will cast its shadows far into the 2007 season.