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Ivan Basso's DNA


Apr 23, 2006
Does anybody else but me think it rather ODD that Ivan Basso has refused to give a DNA sample, even though now most pro teams are demanding it for the coming year?

We all know that DNA is the ONLY way you can guarantee a rider is clean at the present time (lets not get into genetic doping, but that is a whole different bunch of bad news) so it should be absolutely mandatory if you are going to clean up pro cycling.

When Ivan signed up with Discovery recently we had Lance blathering on giving an interview saying that Basso 'gave his availability for DNA testing' so everything is peachy. WRONG. He gave permission for his DNA to be taken IF there was a future criminal investigation. This means he gets to ride the TDF and all the other events next year and we STILL don't know if he is clean or not. Neither does Lance apparently (or does he?). Also I cannot believe that Lance actually ASKS why Basso was not allowed to ride in last year's tour!!! Ummm...could it have something to do with DOPING??:confused:

Here is the interview with Lance from cyclingnews:

Lance Armstrong ready for number eight with Basso
Lance Armstrong talks of Basso
Photo ©: Rick Kent
Lance Armstrong is getting down to business with his Discovery Channel's newest signing, Ivan Basso. The seven-time Tour de France winner ensured that the American team had the signature of the Italian after he ended his contract with Team CSC, and Armstrong is now passing along his knowledge the team's newest member. The 2007 Discovery Channel riders have been in Armstrong's home town of Austin this week for their first 2007 season training camp.

The American has been on most of the team rides and is excited about its potential Tour winner. "I know that he [Basso] wants to win the Tour. I will make available my time and passion," said Armstrong, 35 years-old, in an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"He is very concentrated in this new challenge; I am not only speaking of the sporting aspects. The personality of Ivan will be able to add a lot to this group. We are all with him."

Ivan Basso, 29 years-old, signed with Discovery Channel team manager sportif Johann Bruyneel last month but he first rose to the attention of the Belgian and Armstrong at the 2002 Tour de France.

"It is not a secret that we have tried over the years to sign him," continued Armstrong. "We have come close [to signing Basso] at least on three or four occasions. To have him in the team has been a dream for a long time; now it is a reality. ... I became aware of him in the 2002 Tour, when he won the white jersey for best young rider. I got to know him better in 2003, at the century edition of the Tour, and the idea to have him [in the team] was already there."

Ivan Basso in Austin
Photo ©: Rick Kent
Basso's name is well known but not only for his accomplishments on the bike, like winning the 2006 Giro d'Italia and finishing second in the 2005 Tour. This last summer his name was sullied when he was allegedly linked with Eufemiano Fuentes, the doctor at the centre of the Operación Puerto investigations.

On October 26, International Association of Professional Cycling teams (AIGCP) came to a gentlemen's agreement that they would not sign riders implicated in doping investigations. "Cycling has always been a sport with lots of integral conflicts. Everyone believes they have a reason to talk bad about the others. The truth is that all of the big teams wanted Basso. Ivan was acquitted by CONI [Italian Olympic Committee] and his federation, and for us this was the green light."

The investigation against Basso by his federation [FCI] has been shelved but CONI anti-doping lawyer Franco Cosenza noted that the case could be reopened if more evidence was found to warrant such action, although this has rarely happened in the history of the FCI.

"The case is closed, it is missing the other elements," Armstrong stated to the Italian newspaper. "Basso is clean. There is a telephone call that was linked to him, but nothing concrete. And then he gave his availability to DNA testing. What more can he do?"

Shortly after signing for Discovery Channel Basso said that he would agree to DNA testing if there were future criminal-type investigation, this excluded the current, ongoing Operación Puerto, where DNA sampling could reveal whose blood the Spanish Guardia Civil found.

"The real questions is why was this boy was not allowed to race the [2006] Tour?" Armstrong concluded. He hopes to take Basso on to win the 2007 edition of the Tour de France, giving Discovery Channel and its team manager Bruyneel their eighth victory.

Everybody knows that Basso is a fast Mo'Fo!
If you use the Tour de France as a yardstick, you could already put Basso as the "2nd fastest cyclist in the world"!
But he's got 6 years up (or down) on Lance - which means that from here on in, every year that Lance gets older (and slower), Basso will be beating on his doorstep, (and getting faster). If Lance were to ride again this year, he'd be lookin' at Basso's arse!... However, as training partners, I reckon they will rock!

Had Basso been in the last TDF, we might have only been seeing 6 of Lance's fingers - with him on the second step of the podium.
Business-wise, it looks like Discovery have been doing their homework, and decided to keep on winning! Which means that Bruyneel & Lance have both put their heads together and said, "If we're gonna win again, we'll need that Basso guy! 'Cos he nearly cooked me (Lance) on a number of occasions!".

Should Basso be allowed to ride in the TDF next year, I think I know who my money will be on!
As for the politics of racing.... may the best man win! T
Trav, Lance wasn't in last year's TDF, he retired the year before, remember?
So even if Basso had been we would never have known who was quicker.

I agree Basso is a full on favorite for next year's TDF, I would be betting on him too. And he is definitely in the right place at discovery.

Lets see how it all pans out. I still think he (and everybody else) should submit a dna sample though.
I don't think that there is a sport that is currently in such dire straights as pro cycling. This years TDF like the previous years has been an embarassment for the sport. Even the winner Lloyd Flandis had the title taken away from him. Innocent or guilty his reputation is finished.

But I kind of understand Basso's stance on not wanting to give his DNA. As many political theorists have stated 'We all have personal freedoms and we can't be allowed as individuals to have them taken away from us'.

Giving a urine sample is one thing but actually having to give our DNA is going into a different level. I always thought it was only suspected seriel killers who were ordered by court to produce there samples.

What actually happens to these samples when they are given. Can the testing lab be trusted to test them honestly? Will there be an independant organisation involved to over see the work of the lab? Can the samples of DNA from elite cyclists be given or sold to rival teams? What if the testing lab is the same French lab which messed Lance Armstrong around for so many years was involved? That would be a nightmare.

Personally I would not like to have my DNA examined by some testing lab if I was a pro cyclist. But due to so much cheating in the sport, it seems that this will be a future requirement. If the cyclist has nothing to hide they will produce the DNA samples even if there personal freedoms have been taken away from them.
Let's assume that he is innocent and they are being framed by a conspiracy from opposing clubs or weaker riders.

It would be possible that a blood sample taken of Basso at any time in the year could be mixed in with/tampered any sample used for testing.

The protocal for these allegations is weaker than the O.J Simpson case.

If he has doubts about the witch hunt then he should watch his step. Caving in to their demands may end his career.

He may be guilty too of course! :rolleyes:
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