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Last Updated: Friday, 13 October 2006, 09:47 GMT 10:47 UK
Basso boost in bid to clear name
Ivan Basso kisses the Giro d'Italia trophy
Basso, 28. has always denied the doping allegations against him
Ivan Basso is likely to avoid charges of doping after investigating officials asked for his case to be dropped.

The Giro d'Italia champion came under scrutiny from the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) after being implicated in a Spanish police probe.

CONI said on Thursday it would ask the Italian Cycling Federation to drop their case against the 28-year-old.

The Italian was one of a 58 riders alleged to be implicated in "Operation Puerto", a Spanish doping inquiry.

He was subsequently excluded from July's Tour de France with eight other riders, among them 1997 champion Jan Ullrich.

We are delighted with the result

Basso's lawyer Massimo Martelli

Basso, who was also suspended by his CSC team, has always denied any links with the group of doctors arrested in Madrid.

This year's Tour of Italy winner could have taken part in the final event on the ProTour circuit, the Tour of Lambardy on Saturday but felt that the race was too soon for him.

He said: "I am now a free man but (CSC team manager Bjarne) Riis has decided it would be better if I didn't do the Tour of Lombardy.

"I have continued training with the goal of racing again as soon as the situation was resolved. But perhaps that has come too quickly."

Lawyer Massimo Martelli added that Basso, who still has two years left on his contract with CSC, would meet "immediately" with the Danish outfit to decide his future.

"All my client wants to do is get back to racing as soon as possible," said Martelli.

"We are delighted with the result. It's the best possible outcome."

Last month, Italy's national cycling federation technical director Silvio Martinello insisted there was no real evidence to back up the doping charges against Basso.

"The only link is when his name comes up in a phone conversation," he said.

The International Cycling Union has previously said it may go to international arbitration if the Italians take no action.

But if he is found guilty, he could be sacked by CSC, as cycling's governing body the UCI launches an anti-doping crackdown under the leadership of president Pat McQuaid.



SEE ALSO
Rogge defends under-fire cycling
29 Jul 06 |  Cycling
Defiant Basso protests innocence
01 Jul 06 |  Cycling
Scandal-hit Tour left wide open
30 Jun 06 |  Cycling
Astana-Wurth forced out of Tour
01 Jul 06 |  Cycling
Ullrich and Basso out of Le Tour
30 Jun 06 |  Cycling


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