Yesterday, while being awarded the Giglio d'Oro, world champion Paolo Bettini called into question Ivan Basso's stance on DNA testing. The 32 year-old rider from Toscana noted that Basso was against DNA testing in cycling only up until he was offered a contract by Discovery Channel.
"... The DNA test does not help for the fight against doping," said Bettini to La Gazzetta dello Sport. "Only in one case can it be useful, if they find in your home sacks of blood and they need to determine the blood is yours. ... When at the end of October I took this position the first message of solidarity I got was a phone call from Basso. He said that I was a legend. Then, 20 days later, he gives his availability to DNA tests.
"Why did he not do this during the course of the Spanish investigation [Operación Puerto], but only after he signed with Discovery Channel and when he knew that the Guardia Civil would not be able handover the sacks of blood in their possession?"
In the evening Basso called Bettini from Austin, Texas to talk. "I explained my position and Paolo understood; we are clear," said Ivan Basso. "I did not accept the DNA tests under any condition. I gave my availability for testing in cases where a judge would ask me; and this is obligatory for all."
Bettini, continuing on the subject of DNA testing, said that he would retire before he would be subject to DNA testing.