Ivan Basso will be riding with the Discovery Channel team in the coming 2007 season, Johan Bruyneel, the team’s director announced today. Basso has signed a two-season contract with the Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team.
“We are excited about Ivan joining the team,” Bruyneel said, “and we’re looking forward to having him at Discovery Channel’s training camp in Austin on December 3.”
Bill Stapleton, General Manager of the Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team has grown to know Ivan as a chief rival of seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong. “On behalf of Tailwind Sports, Capital Sports and Entertainment and all of our sponsors, I am very excited to have Ivan as a part of the Team”, said Stapleton. “During Lance’s final Tour’s Ivan pushed Lance to a new level and we expect great things from him in 2007.”
The Italian Cycling Federation on 27 October 2006 dropped an inquiry into Basso’s alleged involvement in the Spanish “Operacion Puerto” investigation following the Italian Olympic Committee’s decision clearing him.
Ivan Basso has now been cleared by his country’s top governing sports organizations which examined more than 500 pages of documents and determined on the merits that not only is there no proof of any involvement in illegal practices, but there is no justification for bringing a disciplinary proceeding against Basso.