New date to be announced in 'ongoing' investigation
By Gregor Brown
Ivan Basso testified in front of Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) anti-doping prosecutors, and after two hours, the hearing was "adjourned." The Italian cyclist from Varese appeared in Rome to answer to questions of alleged involvement with Doctor Eufemiano Fuentes. The recently re-opened case was originally opened last year and shelved two months later, in October.
"Adjourned to a date to be determined," said Basso's lawyer, Massimo Martelli, to ANSA. "Ivan Basso is calm, serene; he replied to the requests of the prosecutor and he has agreed to this adjournment."
The 2006 Giro d'Italia winner was allegedly linked to Fuentes via documents, faxes and SMSs marked 'Birillo' and with the number 2. Last fall, in light of a pending legal battle, Basso agreed to a mutual termination with former team CSC, and, just last week, he ended his contract with his new team, Discovery Channel. "This was a very difficult decision, for me and my family, but I think it is the right thing to do,"said Basso in regards to the termination of his contract.
The hearing should take place before the start of the Giro d'Italia on May 12.
"The interrogation is still formally ongoing and hence is confidential," said lawyer Fabio Filocamo of CONI to tuttobiciweb.com after the hearing. "There was not time to conclude. Basso has the attitude of a person ready to confront any circumstances; he has his line of defence and we hope that he collaborates."
Neither Martelli nor Filocamo would comment on whether or not Basso would submit his DNA. "We have not talked of this nor have there been any decisions made," continued Filocamo, clearly under "confidential" orders from Ettore Torri, head of anti-doping at CONI.
"Soon we will agree to the new hearing date."
New evidence out of Spain could contradict Basso's previous 2006 statements to CONI and created a situation of 'deception.' "We have enough material out of Madrid to draw our conclusions," Torri indicated last week. "We will go forward all the same."
Basso was escorted out of the hearing by Martelli. He only answered to one media question: "Good," when questioned how he was.