June 19, 2007. Italy.
Today, Birillo, denied Ivan Basso's claim that he is still by Basso's side. La Gazzetta dello Sport and cyclingnews.com reported that when asked if Birillo was still by his side, Basso responded with a smile "Yes, always."
In a statement read by his attorneys, Birillo said:
I deny that I am by Basso's side. Once again Ivan has been untruthful. Ever since I filed my suit against Basso, I have been sleeping in the garage. I will not stay in the same room with him. It is true that he has been able to coax me to him with steak, but I am a dog and steak is steak. Other than those occasions when Ivan has used my own nature as a dog against me, I am not by his side. I do not support him nor will I offer him any comfort. I am anxiously waiting for the judge to rule on my request for emancipation.
Birillo's attorneys said that they anticipate a ruling on Birillo's request soon. They also said that Birillo is hoping for a decision before the Tour de France so that he can watch the race with his real friends and not with Ivan.
Ivan Basso declined to comment for this story.
Recent coverage of Birillo:
June 1, 2007 Birillo forms new advocacy group
May 8, 2007 Birillo files suit against Ivan Basso