- Title: ITALY: CYCLING - Italian cyclist Ivan Basso testifies in doping hearing
- Date: 3rd May 2007
- Summary: (W3) ROME, ITALY (MAY 2, 2007) (REUTERS) JOURNLIST WRITING NOTES IVAN BASSO ARRIVING, BEING APPROACHED BY FAN HOLDING CYCLING SHIRT AND THEN SURROUNDED BY MEDIA BASSO GOING UPSTAIRS JOURNALISTS WAITING AT ITALIAN OLYMPIC COMMITTEE OFFICES SECURITY GUARD AT ENTRANCE
- Embargoed: 20th May 2007 15:32
- Location: Italy
- Country: Italy
- Topics: Sport
- Reuters ID: LVAA1NZS48R4W5VA8OCRW4HJPGB0
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: Italian cyclist and Giro D'Italia champion Ivan Basso faced a nearly two hours long hearing at Italy's Olympic committee headquarters (CONI) in Rome on Wednesday (May 2) to investigate charges that he used or attempted to use banned substances. The hearing was eventually postponed because prosecutors said more questioning was needed.
The investigation into the 29-year-old Italian has been reopened despite CONI and the cycling federation clearing him last October.
Basso was one of 50 riders implicated in last year's Operation Puerto, which led to his exclusion from the Tour de France.
The cyclist's name turned up on a list of cyclists who allegedly had contact with a Spanish doctor accused of running a blood doping clinic in Madrid. Basso declined to answer reporters' questions when he arrived and and left but appeared relaxed as said by his lawyer Massimo Martelli.
"He (Basso) is very calm, serene. He obviously answered to the prosecutors' requests. What emerged during the questioning has revealed the need to postpone the audience. I don't think it will be postponed for long, not for more than ten days," Basso'slawyer told reporters after the hearing.
Fabio Filocamo, spokesman for the prosecution office, explained that nobody could comment on the hearing because the postponmnent meant that it was technically ongoing.
"We had sufficient elements to question and hear the athlete who is charged with these sports' violations. The fact that we postponed the hearing is due simply to the fact that we didn't have enough time go into all the aspects that we need to touch upon, we needed more time," Filocamo said. He added that both the prosecution and the defence agreed on postponing the hearing.
Basso quit the Discovery Channel cycling team this week and has ruled out defending his Giro d'Italia title in less than two weeks time.
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