By Tim Maloney, European Editor
Formally, Ivan Basso is not under investigation for any aspect of Operación Puerto, having been cleared by both the Italian and Spanish Cycling Federations. But Basso and his lawyer are disturbed by declarations in the media about his legal status, especially those issuing from cycling organization about his need to submit to a DNA test to be totally cleared. As Basso seems to be on the verge of inking an accord with the Discovery Channel team for the next few years, Basso's attorney, Avv. Massimo Martelli, recently issued a statement that clarified Basso's legal position going forward. If he has to, Ivan Basso is going to fight to protect his reputation.
"The recently repeated judgements and comments in the Italian and international media regarding Operación Puerto, especially regarding Ivan Basso, require a strong and definitive reaction," stated Avv. Martelli. "The reality is that these opinions and statements are in direct contrast to the results of all the judicial and sporting justice cases that have happened.
"The result of these cases is that Ivan Basso has been cleared of any supposed violation of rules, regulations or law and that Basso currently has no pending cases criminal or civil cases against him regarding doping. And that any declaration for the necessity of blood tests for DNA or other values we consider to be an illegal and inadmissible intrusion to his private life. Thus, any declaration that Ivan Basso that says that there are limits or conditions to prevent Basso for racing for a "ProTour" team or participate in "ProTour" competitions are discriminatory and against the current rules."
Avv. Massimo Martelli continued, declaring "The current professional and personal position of Ivan Basso is that he conforms to and respects the ProTour Code of Ethics and that any declaration in the media to the contrary will be seen as defamatory and thus will be dealt with via legal means by his counsel, Avv. Massimo Martelli."
Cyclingnews' recent coverage of 'Operación Puerto'
April 2, 2009 - Valverde indignant over possible suspension
April 1, 2009 - Valverde: Italy requests two-year suspension
March 13, 2009 - Le Monde newspaper hit with fine over Puerto allegations
March 2, 2009 - WADA president Fahey asks for Puerto evidence
February 24, 2009 - Spanish federation seeks access to Puerto blood bags
February 20, 2009 - CONI considers Valverde case while UCI awaits verdict
February 19, 2009 - Valverde under criminal investigation
February 11, 2009 - Valverde summonsed for Operación Puerto in Italy
February 8, 2009 - Eight charged in Operación Puerto