Reports that Ivan Basso has been offered a 'concrete proposal' from the Discovery Channel team have been denied by Discovery's assistant manager Dirk Demol. "We have always had an interest in Basso, and the other way round. But we still have presented nothing concrete to him," he told sporza.be. Team CSC and Basso announced earlier this week that they had mutually agreed to end their relationship, but there still may be some loose ends that need tying up.
Demol said, "To my knowledge, he still has a contract with CSC. We must wait to see how that evolves." The team may also wait until the matter of Basso's involvement in the Operacion Puerto investigation is fully cleared up to make any offers. "The same applies to Basso's role with Dr. Fuentes. We really must wait until his name is cleared."
Christian Frommert, director of sports communication for T-Mobile, said he is not surprised at other teams' interest in signing Ivan Basso. "That was to be expected," he told the Netzeitung. "You have to reckon with the fact that not everybody takes the Code of Ethics so seriously."
Frommert expressed doubts, however, as to the success of Basso's comeback plans. "Talk is cheap. But we have to wait and see how the UCI and the organization of ProTour teams will react."
Susan Westemeyer contributed to this report