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Media slams Basso


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Media slam Basso as a 'liar'


Posted on Tuesday, May 08, 2007 - 17:39




Ivan Basso was named a liar as his announcement that he only planned doping - but never actually took any drugs - drew harsh international media reactions on Wednesday.


"From hero to liar," said Swiss daily Tagesanzeiger bluntly about the Italian cyclist's statements from Tuesday.




Speaking to reporters in Milan a day after his alleged confession to Italian sports prosecutors about his involvement in a Spanish doping scheme, Basso said "I admit to having attempted to dope (myself) ahead of the (2006) Tour de France" and that "I have always won clean."




The statement was judged "lukewarm" (Switzerland's Basler Zeitung), Spain's Marca spoke of a "farce" and British daily The Guardian drew a comparison to former United States president Bill Clinton.




"The Tour of Italy winner Ivan Basso's defence against doping allegations was following the path taken famously by the former US president Bill Clinton when he declared he had smoked marijuana but did not inhale," said The Guardian.




The Italian media were as merciless with their Giro d'Italia champion.




"Basso's bomb turns into a jumping-cracker," said La Nuova Sardegna, others including La Gazzetta dello Sport spoke of "full breaking" by Basso, and Il Manifesto said that "Basso quickly went into reverse."




But, with Italian authorities continuing their investigation and the Spanish probe reportedly linking Basso to 2004 payments to the alleged mastermind, doctor Eufemiano Fuentes, the truth may still be heard, some papers said.




"Ivan still has the chance to speak out for himself before he is forced to do so," said La Gazzetta dello Sport. Corriere della Sera said: "Basso, you have no choice: tell the truth."




Belgium's Het Laaste Nieuws said the first news on Monday had led to big hopes to shed further light into the Spanish affair, but that Basso did then not dare to implicate other riders.




"The leader group has nothing to fear from Basso. There is no way that he will deliver his cycling colleagues and clients of Fuentes to the gallow," said Het Laaste News.







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