Amnesty for Ivan Basso?

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29.01.2008/ The chairman of the Italian Olympic Committee, Gianni Petrucci will study a proposal to reduce Ivan Basso's ban with three months. The proposal was made by the president of the Italian Professional League, Alcide Cerato during the cross World Championships in Treviso. The idea was backed by former riders Francesco Moser and Felice Gimondi.

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Ivan Basso's ban could be reduced.. ( Cyclingheroes)

Italian daily sports Tuttosport brought the story in todays print edition. According to Tuttosport the idea was discussed last weekend, during the Cyclo-Cross World Championships in Treviso (Italy). The Italian sports world seems to be increasily upset that Basso is banned because of his involvement in 'Operacion Puerto' while others are allowed to ride.
The idea to reduce Ivan Basso's ban with three months was discussed by Vittorio Adorni (member of the UCI management commission), Felice Gimondi, Francesco Moser, Alcide Cerato (president of the Italian Professional League ), Renato Di Rocco (president of the Italian cycling federation, FCI), Gianni Petrucci (president of the Italian Olympic Committee, CONI) and many others.
Basso is banned until October 24, 2008. If his ban will be reduced with three months he could race again early August and try to qualify for the 2008 Road World Championships. This years Worlds will take place in Varese (Italy), the hometown of Basso. Petrucci promised that CONI will study the proposal before going to the UCI. The UCI will probebly decide if Basso's ban can be reduced or not.
Cerato thinks the UCI should take into account that many riders who were involved in the Puerto scandal did not pay the price, while others were banned for only one year. Cerato also said that Basso was tested many times during his suspension and never failed a test. Cerato also thinks that recent statements of Ivan Basso show that the winner of the 2006 Giro d'Italia has changed. Basso recently told Italian media that his ban helped him to understand a lot more about life.
The idea of an amnesty for Basso has split opinion in Italy cycling and sparked a heated debate. Former champ Felice Gimondi is in favour of a reduced ban for Basso.
Gimondo said: "Ivan has already been punished enough because he's one of the few riders who really paid the price. What happened in Operacion Puerto has never been really clear. How many of the 200 people implicated have been punished? Few, far too few and Basso is one of them."
The former Giro and Tour de France winner continued by saying: "He deserves to race at the world championships in Varese in front of his fans late September. It's true he made a mistake but that can happen to anybody in cycling and in sport."
Two time Giro winner Gilberto Simoni thinks Basso should serve the full two-year ban: "I'm not in favour of an amnesty. Basso is banned until October 24 and after that he can make a comeback. It's not correct to say he has already paid enough. He made a mistake. We're the ones who are paying for his mistake."
Simoni added: "Everyone in cycling is paying the bitter consequences because the doping scandals have had a terrible effect on the whole sport. A lot of people have lost their passion for our sport and above all some sponsors have left the sport. It's caused serious damage."
Last week Tuttosport reported that retired pro Jan Ullrich said that he doesn't think "justice has been done." Ullrich is also allegedly involved in the Puerto case.

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