Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Basso in Germany prior to 2006 Giro

Ettore Torri has received evidence from the Bergamo anti-doping investigating attorneys, in association with the German officials, that Ivan Basso was in Germany on the eve of the 2006 Giro d'Italia. The parties are working on a drug trafficking case and, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport, there is evidence to support that Basso was together with Jan Ullrich and Eufemiano Fuentes in a Freiburg hotel before the departure of the three week race which the Italian won.

It is expected that this morning, or tomorrow, that Paolo Ferraro of the Rome Justice department will include Basso's name with Michele Scarponi and Alessandro Kalc for the violation of anti-doping law 376/2000. This action appears to be in response to Basso's non-cooperation in his last visit with Italian Olympic Committee's (CONI) Ettore Torri.

Yesterday, Torri noted to AP, "During the second questioning, he seemed willing to cooperate. ... Then, he was clearly approached not only by his defence lawyers, but sponsors and technical directors who have pushed him to backtrack."

Ferraro is expected to summons a number of foreign riders from Operación Puerto, including José Enrique Gutierrez, second in the 2006 Giro, Santiago Botero, Marcos Serrano, Alberto Contador, Dariusz Baranowski, Sergio Paulinho and Sergio Ribeiro. Fuentes' sister, Yolanda, could also be summons regarding a possible role in transporting blood from Madrid to riders in Italy. Their summons is based on 'crimes committed on Italian soil' related to anti-doping law 376/2000.

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