'No real proof against Basso'

UCI president Pat McQuaid hints at possible action against Ivan Basso after an Italian federation di

UCI president Pat McQuaid hints at possible action against Ivan Basso after an Italian federation di

PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM

Italian national federation technical director Silvio Martinello has told French news agency AFP that the evidence against Giro d'Italia winner Ivan Basso from the Operation Puerto investigation in Spain is not substantial enough to lead to disciplinary action being taken against the Italian. "There is no real proof against Basso. I have seen the dossier that has been sent from Spain, and the only link to Basso is when his name comes up in a telephone conversation," Martinello said on Sunday.

"In all likelihood, I think Ivan will end up going to the CAS," he added, in reference to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. This could be Basso's next destination if he is cleared due to lack of evidence of wrongdoing at a second hearing at the Italian Olympic Committee's disciplinary board this coming Friday.

Basso was suspended by his CSC the day before the start of the Tour de France after being implicated in the Puerto affair. However, the 29-year-old Italian could return to competition if cleared this Friday, at which point the International Cyling Union (UCI) would have to decide whether enough evidence exists to justify them taking the case to the CAS.

"If Basso is not sanctioned by the authorities in Italy, then it would be up to us to study the evidence against him and decide whether or not to take the case to the CAS," UCI president Pat McQuaid told AFP, adding: "The Italian federation official was wrong to comment on this dossier before the hearing has taken place. It is not his responsibility, and should not be done at this time."

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