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Report: Basso agreed to pay Fuentes $94,000 for doping

By:
Cycling News
Published:
February 12, 2013, 05:23,
Updated:
February 12, 2013, 07:05
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Ivan Basso (Cannondale).

Ivan Basso (Cannondale).

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Italian admits to blood extractions to pursue Tour "dream" in Puerto case

In a video conference from his team Cannondale training base in Tenerife Ivan Basso has admitted he agreed to pay Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes approximately US$94,000 (70,000 euro) in late 2005, in return for a complex doping system ahead of the following year's Tour de France. Basso was the next rider to be called to give evidence in the Operación Puerto trial in which Fuentes, former ONCE and Liberty Seguros manager Manolo Saiz and three others are charged with crimes against public health.

Basso had previously admitted to attempted doping and was handed a two-year suspension in 2007 for his links to the Puerto case - in relation to his three-year stint at Bjarne Riis' CSC squad. Basso is not on trial himself because his actions were not illegal in Spain at the time however, his most recent admission sheds further light on the case that led to the exclusion of some of the sport's biggest names prior to the 2006 Tour de France.

While Basso admitted to having blood removed three times in late 2005 with full intention to use them, he stands firm behind his previous statements that he did not transfuse the blood back into his system. The full fee was never transferred because Basso reportedly did not receive the agreed program - as he was expelled prior to the start of the 2006 Tour. He instead allegedly paid Fuentes $20,000 before authorities stepped in.

"I met Fuentes in 2001-02, during a stay in the Canary Islands for training, but as a patient I contacted the winter of 2005, when I was in the CSC team," said Basso.

"I contacted Dr. Fuentes because his system could give me an advantage in cycling. I acknowledge that on my account it was a weakness, a weakness so as to pursue a dream to win [the Tour].

"Three blood extractions took place in the fall of 2005, but the blood was never re-injected [into] me. My intention was to use the blood for winning the Tour in 2006, but as the network was dismantled in May 2006, it was never done," he said.

Basso did win the 2006 Giro d'Italia prior to his non-start at the Tour and while he expressed remorse for his past during the video conference, he also appeared to suffer from 'memory loss' when questioned about documents that link him, through his code name "Brillo", to the controversial doctor months earlier than originally told.

"I do not remember. It was years ago and my memory is not as good," he said.

Alberto Contador is next to be called as a witness following Jörg Jaksche's damning testimony and Basso's evidence. An extension was granted was granted due to the Spaniard's commitments at the Tour of Oman and he will now appear at the court in Madrid on 22 February. His request to provide evidence as a defense witness for his former team boss Saiz via video conference was denied.

 

Evan Shaw More than 1 year ago
That Contador will be a defense witness is possibly a door to hell.
mikeyb More than 1 year ago
"My memory fails me".... What a complete and utter tw@t! hahaha
Wheelman More than 1 year ago
It's interesting to read that Basso seemingly initiated the contact with Fuentes in 2005. This suggests that Basso's cheating was about personal ambition and nothing else. Now, no doubt some riders have at times been coerced into doping, but I've often thought that the notion of poor, innocent and naive riders who have no choice but to cheat seemed a little exaggerated. Riders who have doped need to take responsibility for their own role in it. Of course, Basso now has owned up to things, but even he denied it for a long time first.
perfessor More than 1 year ago
What exactly has he admitted to...you believe that swill about "never inhaled"?
Adrian Nastasoiu More than 1 year ago
and who was Amigo di Birilo?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
amico di Birillo = Birillo's friend
Adrian Nastasoiu More than 1 year ago
i knew that,what i ment was what is his name.
la.margna More than 1 year ago
amigo de birillo = Fränk Schleck
Eric Blais More than 1 year ago
I onlly intended to .... would make a great T-Shirt slogan I only intented to cheat on you my love.... I only intended to intended spend all that money I stoll... Got to love the guy, after 8 yrears of saying the same thing, he is sticking to it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
yes, anyway it's an old story, maybe we can legalize everything or we can say goodbye to pro cycling
BAD_44 More than 1 year ago
hey give the guy a break, I'm assuming he didn't inhale and is thus almost telling a half truth!
ProfTournesol More than 1 year ago
$94,000 paid to store blood that he never intended to use!
no-chain More than 1 year ago
Who reinfuses blood that is 6 months old? With Basso something is always lost in translation.
la.margna More than 1 year ago
that's not a translation mistake, that's a liar. as we know, stored blood loses 6-7% of red cells.That's why it should be transfused between three or four weeks later. And this ridiculous liar wants to believe the judge and public that the blood withdrawn 2005 was intended for the Tour de France? The only possibility he was telling the truth is if he were part of Fue's project "Siberia" which Tyler and Ulle were as well, where the did not keep the blood in the fridge, but in the freezer. Anyway, does it matter? A cheater remains a cheater, a liar a liar, Ivan Basso is just one of the old generation who should get a life-time ban for any activity in professional sports.
Ivan_Basso_77 More than 1 year ago
When it comes to an Italian cyclist who has been sentenced and served his penalty when he had to, people like you always want to kill them. Ivan Basso has admitted his mistake for wanting these blood bags, and he showed that he could win fairly. What a better evidence you need? If Ivan Basso is in top form in May, the new British national hero will win this Giro only in his dreams, no matter of the 90 kilometres of time trialing.
Andrew Turco More than 1 year ago
2006 Giro- no one ever climbed like that before, not even Pantani. The other riders were pissed off because Riis used to sit behind Basso on the climbs after he gapped the other 'climbers' idly chatting on his cell phone. By the end of the Giro they were calling Basso 'the motorcycle.' Basso showed up every day- even after 3 days in a row in mountains- fresh as a daisy. I am assuming that Fuentes will have a recollection of sending Basso blood bags for that Giro...just before he was busted.
mr. tibbs More than 1 year ago
Poor Gibo. He called it like it was during the race: "extraterrestrial." I remember watching Basso just blast up those peaks with his little assassin's grin.
Chuck_T More than 1 year ago
Yeah the 06 Giro wasn't a bad "attempt". I'm sure he'd have had it down pat by the time the Tour rolled around.
Tags:
doping
legal case
Tour de France
Giro d'Italia