ROME – Former Giro d'Italia champion Ivan Basso received a maximum two-year doping penalty Friday from the Italian cycling federation.
Basso acknowledged involvement last month in the Spanish blood-doping probe, known as Operation Puerto. He confessed to "attempted doping," but said he never actually went through with it.
"I accept the sentence," Basso said. "I'm going to continue to train and plan to return in 2009. I've got to look to the future."
The 29-year-old rider was accused of using or attempting to use a banned substance or method, and "possession of banned substances and methods."
Basso was already suspended for nearly eight months by his teams this year and last, so Friday's penalty will expire on Oct. 24, 2008.
The two-year ban satisfies the request of the International Cycling Union, or UCI, and exceeds the 21-month suspension that Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) doping prosecutors recommended last month for the 2006 Giro winner.
The UCI had said it would appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport if Basso wasn't banned for two years.