By Gregor Brown
Liquigas' Ivan Basso insists he is demonstrating the transparency he said he would when returning to cycling following a two-year suspension for links to the Operación Puerto investigation. The Italian responded to the remarks of his rival Damiano Cunego in Italy's leading sports newspaper.
"If he is talking about me I find it very funny because it does not have any meaning," Basso told Cyclingnews. "I said I would return to race and give the fans something else, which is publishing online my test and biological passport results - this is transparency."
The two past Giro d'Italia champions have long been rivals both on and off the road. Cunego's remarks in La Gazzetta dello Sport were not directly at Basso, but it was enough to provoke a response by Basso on his personal blog.
"I only hope that there is a balanced playing field, otherwise those who have talked so much about transparency would be better to keep quiet," Cunego said in a paragraph that spoke about the Giro d'Italia, Lance Armstrong and Ivan Basso.
Basso, winner of the 2006 Giro d'Italia, served a suspension for ties to Spanish Doctor Eufemiano Fuentes. His ban ended on October 24 and he returned to racing two days later in the Japan Cup.
"Like always, I can't pretend that everyone is on my side, but those that continue to attack are wasting their time," he said. "I believe that it is right to do your work and not to become stressed out over nothing."
Basso will return to Italy after the Tour of California, February 14 to 22, and a wind tunnel test. His next race will be the Tirreno-Adriatico.