Italy's Ivan Basso has been suspended for two years for doping offences by the Italian Cycling Federation.
The Italian Olympic Committee's doping investigators had recommended a 21-month ban for the former CSC and Discovery Channel rider, saying he had partially helped them with their investigations, but after a disciplinary hearing in Rome on Friday, the Italian Cycling Federation said Basso had not done enough to get a reduction.
However they did include the time Basso was suspended by CSC last summer and by Discovery Channel this spring and so reduced the ban by a total of 236 days. As a result Basso's ban will end on October 24 2008.
Basso had been hoping to ride at least a part of the 2008 season and perhaps even the 2008 Giro d'Italia. However he will now face more than a year and a half in the wilderness. He said he was unsure if he would make an appeal but promised he would eventually make a comeback.
"I knew it wasn't an easy situation and now I accept the decision and just want to keep riding my bike so that I can make a comeback in 2009 and do what I've always done. An appeal? I don't know. It's something that I'll decide with my lawyer. I'm already looking to the future, there's nothing else I can do."
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