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Basso to return in Japan

Ivan Basso has been training hard

Ivan Basso has been training hard (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

By Miwako Sasaki

Ivan Basso will return to professional cycling at the Japan Cup on October 26 with Liquigas. Basso's name appeared on the list of teams and riders for the next edition released by the race organiser on Monday.

Basso has been on the cycling sidelines since his confession on May 7, 2007 to attempted doping. The Italian rider confirmed widespread rumour that he was involved in the Spanish doping ring enquiry Operación Puerto, revealing that documents surrounding the case containing the name Birillo where in fact referring to him.

Basso was given a suspension of 24 months by the Italian Cycling Federation (FCI) disciplinary commission in July 2007. The Doctor Eufemiano Fuentes client will be able to resume racing from October 24, 2008.

The rider confessed to his involvement after increasing pressure from Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) anti-doping prosecutor Ettore Torri and mounting evidence against him. Italian outfit Liquigas announced in April it had signed the former Giro d'Italia winner to join its ranks once his suspension had been served.

Four ProTour teams will go to Japan for the event: Bouygues Telecom, Quick Step, Lampre and Liquigas. Damiano Cunego will be one of the star riders making the trip to Japan for the race.