Discovery Channel and Ivan Basso confirmed today that under the terms of their contract, the Italian rider will provide a DNA sample if this is requested in a national judicial or disciplinary investigation.
“There has never been a DNA issue,” Johan Bruyneel said. “Ivan agreed through his lawyer even before we signed to give a sample. He just wanted to make sure that the guarantees provided by the law would be respected.”
Bruyneel said parts of the Code of Conduct hastily adopted by the teams should be reviewed.
“We believe that even an athlete is innocent until proven guilty. A French prosecutor announced an investigation of Lance Armstrong in January 2005. Just this month, 22 months later, he announced that he was dropping the case. Under the Code of Conduct, would we have had to sideline Lance from the 2005 Tour?” the Discovery Channel team director said.
The Code of Conduct provides among other things that teams will not allow any rider to compete if there is any disciplinary or criminal proceeding pending, even though no guilty verdict has been reached. The Code also requires any rider who is found guilty to be excluded from racing for four years after the guilty verdict, even if the official suspension is for shorter period.
“The Code of Conduct creates some issues that we will have to work together to resolve,” Bruyneel said.