Riis leaves door open to Basso

Ivan Basso enjoys a drink

Ivan Basso enjoys a drink (Image credit: Sirotti)

The manager of CSC, Bjarne Riis, has given his clearest message yet he will accept Ivan Basso back into the team should the latter be cleared by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) of implication in the Spanish Operación Puerto investigation. "I still have regular contact with Ivan. He is still part of the team as I have a two-year contract with him. We must wait if he is cleared, but the door is still open," said the manager of the Danish team.

Basso is also looking forward to positive news from CONI regarding his suspension, and a swift return to racing. "I hope that the announcement follows rapidly," said the 28 year-old Italian, "because then I can return as soon as possible to the group. If I am cleared, a conversation will follow concerning my future at CSC."

It is expected that CONI will drop the case against Basso citing lack of evidence. Thus far, the evidence against Basso is largely circumstantial, consisting of his name mentioned in police-intercepted telephone calls, on a fax, and the name "Birillo" on a batch of blood found in Dr Eufemiano Fuentes' office - allegedly the name of Basso's dog.

April 2, 2009 - Valverde indignant over possible suspension
April 1, 2009
- Valverde: Italy requests two-year suspension
March 13, 2009 - Le Monde newspaper hit with fine over Puerto allegations
March 2, 2009 - WADA president Fahey asks for Puerto evidence
February 24, 2009 - Spanish federation seeks access to Puerto blood bags
February 20, 2009 - CONI considers Valverde case while UCI awaits verdict
February 19, 2009 - Valverde under criminal investigation
February 11, 2009 - Valverde summonsed for Operación Puerto in Italy
February 8, 2009 - Eight charged in Operación Puerto

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