Pro teams voice concern over Basso signing

Full story: Velonews

Professional cycling teams eager to lend a silver lining to a blackened season were left divided Friday over the news of Italian Ivan Basso's signing for the Discovery Channel team.
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Mick Hancock

Denmark

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#1
Nov 10, 2006
 
What is this???...'Holier than Thou' are T-Mobile sicne they sacked Jan Ulrich and a bunch of others without any evidence.... it all sounds like the witch trials held in the middle ages, where proving one's innocence was necessary and, of course, impossible.

We all want a bright future for cycling, but turning our heroes into unjustified whipping boys is not the way.
Curious

Winchester, VA

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#2
Nov 10, 2006
 
Bruneel says DC consulted with several European legal experts before the team decided to sign Basso.

Riis should have consulted several European legal experts before letting go of the greatest bicycle rider in the world right now--Ivan Basso.

Let's move on, stop the insanity of the UCI's witchhunt, and enjoy the sport of cycling once again!
Will

Pasadena, MD

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#3
Nov 13, 2006
 
Pro teams voice concern over Basso signing
By Justin Davis
Agence France Presse
This report filed November 10, 2006

Professional cycling teams eager to lend a silver lining to a blackened season were left divided Friday over the news of Italian Ivan Basso's signing for the Discovery Channel team.

The 28-year-old rider, one of many riders who fell under suspicion of doping during a Spanish doping investigation this summer, will become the American team's leader and bid for a rare Giro d'Italia/Tour de France double next year.

"I'm incredibly happy. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say it's a new life for me - I feel reborn," Basso told Gazzetta dello Sport after signing a two-year deal on Thursday.

Basso's signing however has not been welcomed by all.

After a summer of doping suspicion and doping scandal the AIGCP, the body which represents professional teams, agreed in principle they would not sign riders implicated in the investigation, dubbed Operación Puerto.

It was also agreed they would work towards allowing the sport's ruling body, the UCI, to request DNA samples from all riders before the end of the year in a bid to crank up the fight against doping.

Basso was cleared to ride by his national governing body after a Spanish judge declined to supply further evidence from Operación Puerto to those seeking sanctions against any of the suspects.

That was enough for seven-time Tour winner Lance Armstrong's former team, Discovery, to finally secure Basso's signature after years of pursuing him. However, other teams expressed concern, saying the deal was a violation of a unified stand not to hire riders who have declined to cooperate with the Puerto investigation.

Francaise des Jeux team manager Marc Madiot feels that any remaining suspicion over Basso would disappear with a simple DNA test.

He said it would prove that his blood was not among those found at the laboratory of Eufemiano Fuentes, a Spanish sports doctor suspected of masterminding a doping and blood doping network.

"I'm annoyed that what we agreed on (not to sign suspected riders) has not been respected," he said in Friday's edition of L'Equipe.

In an apparent jibe at Discovery Channel he added that "at least some light has been shed on the situation. We now know who is who and where they stand. We want to believe Basso is innocent, but he should give a DNA sample so that it can be compared the blood found in bags in Madrid."

Thus far, Basso has refused to give a DNA sample.

His former manager at CSC, former Tour de France winner Bjarne Riis, had been under pressure from the team's sponsor to get rid of doping suspects and he is annoyed the AIGCP agreement was not respected.

"I am left without the best (rider) in the world, but I also risked my team disappearing," Riis told Gazzetta dello Sport this week. "Only a few days ago, the Pro Tour teams expressed their intention to stop signing riders mixed up in Operación Puerto in addition to requiring a DNA test.

"In the end, the interests of individuals prevail while the initiatives go disregarded."

T-Mobile director Rolf Aldag was also angry at what he called a "double standard," after his team also fired a top Tour contender, Jan Ullrich, after the Puerto allegations were released.

Aldag told www.express.de that he finds it "inconceivable that Basso will sign with Discovery Channel. Both he and Ullrich should prove their innocence," by supplying DNA samples.

Basso, along with Ullrich, was suspended by his former team a day before the start of this year's Tour de France after damaging evidence from Operación Puerto emerged.

Basso will begin training with his new team, partly owned by Armstrong, at Discovery's training camp in Austin, Texas on December 3.
Will

Pasadena, MD

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#4
Nov 13, 2006
 
"...Basso will begin training with his new team, partly owned by Armstrong, at Discovery's training camp in Austin, Texas on December 3."

So it appears that LANCE ARMSTRONG is behind the move, by way of the Discovery Channel team, to support "the greatest bicycle riders" who also happen to be implicated dopers. No real surprise. I've strongly suspected all along that Armstrong is financially supporting Floyd Landis' appeal litigation efforts, behind the scenes. How sad.
Curious

Winchester, VA

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#5
Nov 17, 2006
 
Team Discovery Channel and Ivan Basso confirmed today that under the terms of their contract, the Italian rider has agreed to provide a DNA sample if this is requested in a national judicial or disciplinary investigation.

“There has never been a DNA issue,” Johan Bruyneel said.“Ivan agreed through his lawyer even before we signed to give a sample. He just wanted to make sure that the guarantees provided by the law would be respected.”

__________

It appears that DC has covered its bases when they signed on Basso. It also seems like Basso knows he's innocent and isn't afraid to prove it.

The problem seems to lie with the UCI and the way they handle rumors of doping. They're will to destroy an elite rider's reputation based only on unsubstantiated innuendos.

Can we now relax and have fun watching the sport of cycling again?!
Mick Hancock

Aarhus, Denmark

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#6
Nov 17, 2006
 
I'm afraid that it won't be as simple as that. Whilst we ordinary people trust in our laws and a system that says Innocent until proven guilty, the companies that sponsor the teams play by different rules.... they will cut off funding without any concern for the ethics of the case if they get worried that even a hint of scandal might appear.
My Opinion_El Paso_TX

United States

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#7
Nov 20, 2006
 
If anyone has read any of the articles that have appeared about Lance Armstrong and Ivan Basso, than you may realize that they have been friends for a few years. When Ivan Basso's mother was diagnosed with cancer, it was Lance Armstrong who came to Ivan Basso's side to help him here as Lance has done with many other cancer patients.

So far Floyd Landis has not discussed where he is attaining his fianances for his legal battle. But, since when has it ever been illegal or unethical for people in helping another with fianances for letigation? Our politicians receive moneys from various sources and that has always been the method for them in raising money for their attempts in getting elected into office. It has been happening far longer than any of us on this earth where people have helped others with money to fight their legal battles.

T-Mobile made their bed when they let Jan Ullrich go, so let them now lay in it. Riis let Ivan Basso go, so Discovery signed him on. has anyone stopped to think that they did this without first consulting with Discovery Team owners? Not likely and as stated by a few here, they consulted four (4) seperate lawyers before making a decision.

I do have respect for both the T-Mobile and CSC cycling teams in their establishing better and stronger doping controls within their organizations. It's too bad that this didn't take place after the Festina cycling team affair a few years ago!
06_ocr_md

Washington, DC

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#8
Nov 29, 2006
 
I tend to agree with Will's Armstrong conspiracy theory regarding Basso And Landis. Why just the other day a black helicopter was flying low on a flightpath right over my house, and I could have sworn Armstrong was flying the thing with Basso and Landis in the back with giant bags of blood??? go figure!!!!
Mick Hancock

Aarhus, Denmark

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#9
Nov 30, 2006
 
06_ocr_md wrote:
I tend to agree with Will's Armstrong conspiracy theory regarding Basso And Landis. Why just the other day a black helicopter was flying low on a flightpath right over my house, and I could have sworn Armstrong was flying the thing with Basso and Landis in the back with giant bags of blood??? go figure!!!!
What kind of mushrooms grow in your area?
06_ocr_md

Washington, DC

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#10
Nov 30, 2006
 
the realy good ones Mick, the real good ones!!!
Damon From Aus

Hackham, Australia

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#11
Nov 30, 2006
 
ya dingo rattling fools,should put ya andies on yer sandies back up and head to mexico cause da more mushies ya have the more shielas will go so grow a frow and I got to go to stone a crow ya bloody wankaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaas
and mick know whats goin' on

“I Love Life, People & Animals”

Since: Feb 07

El Paso, Texas

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#12
Feb 28, 2007
 
Start of 2006 TDF:
Jan Ullrich and Ivan Basso aren't racing. Whew, we have a chance now at winning stages and maybe the race.

Discovery signs Ivan Basso:
Holly terrorible Poo Poo! If he races in the 2007 TDF, we're going to get our Poos Poos kicked.

Ivan Basso: "I'm Back!"

Rjiis, you'll be dog meat when I get through with you. Now it's time for a breckfest of champions. Need to eat some CSC babies.
curious

Sacramento, CA

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#13
Mar 28, 2007
 
Riis responds to doping claims
A Belgian television broadcast over the weekend pointed new allegations against 1996 Tour de France winner Bjarne Riis. Former soigneur Jef d'Hont said several Telekom riders used the banned blood booster EPO in the mid-1990s and accused Riis of riding with a hematocrit level well above the 50-percent cutoff later established as a healthy parameter.

The program said a handful of Telekom riders used EPO, but d'Hont isn't there wasn't organized doping within the team structure. He said sprinter Erik Zabel refused to use the doping product that swept through the peloton in the 1990s.

Riis, who retired in 1999 and now manages Team CSC, issued a statement Monday denying the allegations.

"I have never had a particularly close relation with Jef d'Hont and he has no validation for the allegations he is making. There will always be some one out there trying to make money by talking about the past and in my opinion that is probably, what he is trying to do here," Riis said. "This is probably not the first nor the last time these kinds of stories surface. To me, it's all in the past and I do not wish to be held accountable every time some one finds it interesting to bring up some ten-year-old story. I truly believe the future is much more important than the past. I want to be judged on the work I'm doing with my team today, and the results we achieve - that is what's important to me."
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I find it completely ironic that Riis is so angry over the whole Basso affair that he doesn't seem to be willing to move forward and "look to the future" when it comes to Basso.

Now that the shoe's on the other foot, Riis takes exception and now says he doesnt want to look to his own questionable past....

What a hypocrite!

“I Love Life, People & Animals”

Since: Feb 07

El Paso, Texas

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#14
Mar 29, 2007
 
Hi Curious, welcome back. Yes, I have to agree with you there. I always enjoy seeing how people react when the shoe hits them square in their eyes.

Riis is definitely a hypocrite!

Cheers
curious

Sacramento, CA

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#15
Mar 30, 2007
 
Hey MOEP!

Good to be back. Doesn't mean I haven't been keeping track of the cycling season, though!

I have to give major Kudos to the Discovery team for their victories so far! They are doing their job, receiving no help from the other teams, and still win races--how sweet it is!!!
My Opinion_El Paso_TX

Austin, TX

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#16
Apr 1, 2007
 
Heck, that last day of Paris-Nice the DC team blew out the other teams. YES, they are doing well.

Since: Mar 07

Charlotte, NC

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#17
Apr 1, 2007
 
If CSC fired Ivan for jsut being implicated then should they not also fire Riis for being implicated. It only seems fair to me.
My Opinion_El Paso_TX

Austin, TX

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#18
Apr 2, 2007
 
cyclopathic1 wrote:
If CSC fired Ivan for jsut being implicated then should they not also fire Riis for being implicated. It only seems fair to me.
Makes sense and is the fair thing to do.

Since: Mar 07

Charlotte, NC

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#19
Apr 3, 2007
 
CSC needs to hold everyone on the team accountable. These double standards are just getting old to me.

“I Love Life, People & Animals”

Since: Feb 07

El Paso, Texas

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#20
Apr 6, 2007
 
I remember when Riis raced in the TDF and he was having some bicycle problems. He threw the bike away from himself and I remember commenting to my wife that was unsportsman like behavior.

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