Thursday, May 10, 2007

Basso reflects on turbulent week

"I would have liked to avoid the confrontation, I would have liked to oppose everything and continue to race but I was not able to do it any longer. I needed to liberate myself of the weight," explained Basso to La Gazzetta dello Sport of his 10-page signed confession. Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) prosecutor Ettore Torri put the 29 year-old rider's back to the wall and enabled him to do what he could not due since last June.

"For me, it's out of my hair. I only have to think of being a racer. ... In my head, this is completely closed. I'm just thinking about being a racer," he said to Cyclingnews' Tim Maloney in an interview this last January after having signed for Discovery Channel. Now, four months later, he is forced to negotiate with CONI and serve a likely two-year ban.

"I would have liked to do it all earlier. I would have liked to tell all in June of last year," he continued to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

If the 10-page signed document was a form of confession then the next day, Tuesday, was a step backwards. Basso seemed to loosely connect himself to Doctor Eufemiano Fuentes by saying that he extracted blood but never transfused it.

"I never used the blood in Madrid. The famous [Alessandro] Kalc, the presumed carrier of blood bags, I know nothing of him. I said what I know to the prosecutor but certain names I have never heard mentioned." He commented on his blood extraction. "... It is only now that I understand that I made a mistake. It is right that I pay the price of my error. I am not searching for a reduction."

If Ivan Basso is ever to return to racing it might be hard for fans to believe his talent. "I want to excuse myself to everyone that had trust in me. I know that it will not be easy to rebuild [the trust] but I want to try. ... My wins were true, and I conquered them by suffering every second of my life. I have won and won again since I was six years-old and my results were not due to doping." Basso could have his 2006 Giro victory stripped.

After dealing with CONI Basso will take a vacation with his family "I will take a long vacation with my family. My wife and my children are my life. I will try to refind serenity and to return to riding, because this is also my life."

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