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Basso protests innocence ahead of hearing, rules out riding in Giro

Basso protests innocence ahead of hearing, rules out riding in Giro

Italian cyclist Ivan Basso protested his innocence Tuesday, a day before he appears in front of the Italian Olympic Committee on doping charges.
"Summons or no summons, I am at peace with my conscience," Basso was quoted as saying in Gazzetta dello Sport.
Basso, who quit the Discovery Channel team on Monday, also ruled out defending his Giro d'Italia title in less than two weeks time.
"No matter what happens, I won't be riding the Giro," Basso said. "The moment I left Discovery, I decided I would not be racing there. It's been five days since I last trained. The idea of going there to defend the pink jersey is not something I'm concerned with at the moment."
The Giro, one of cycling's three premier tours, begins May 12.
Basso is alleged to have used or attempted to use a banned doping substance after authorities reopened an investigation into his role in a Spanish doping scandal.
The 29-year-old Italian was one of 50 riders implicated in last year's Operation Puerto, which led to his exclusion from the Tour de France. Basso's name turned up on a list of cyclists who allegedly had contact with a Spanish doctor accused of running a blood doping clinic in Madrid.
Basso was cleared of involvement by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) and the Italian cycling federation in October.
However, CONI doping investigators reportedly have obtained bags suspected to contain his blood from Spain and want to compare them with his DNA.


Updated : 2021-03-09 03:13 GMT+08:00