CANE (Canines Against Needles and EPO), rushed to show its support for Bella, Joerg Jaksche's now deceased dog after Eurosport reported that the rider had admitted that he used the dog's name to conceal his blood doping. Jaksche admitted that three 0.5 litre bags of blood labelled "Bella" - and "number 20" confiscated during Operation Puerto were his.
Bella, a Labrador, died three years ago.
The group's spokesdog, Birillo, stated:
Once again a dog has been betrayed. We ask 'what will it take for these cyclistsWhen asked if he felt Jaksche's doping had caused Bella's death Birrillo said:
to stop the slander.' Why are we made to suffer? We have done nothing but be
loyal friends and we are rewarded with this? Our good names dragged through the
dirt. It must stop. We demand to know how many other riders used their dog's names to hide their cheating and dishonesty. We will avenge Bella, by any means necessary, we will avenge Bella.
Regarding his own case against Ivan Basso, Birillo said that he is still waiting for the judge to rule on his request for an order emancipating him from Basso's ownership.
We don't know for sure, but the shame Bella must have felt for all those years would affect any dog.
Recent coverage of Birillo and CANE:
June 19, 2007 Birillo denies he is "by Basso's side"
June 1, 2007 Birillo forms new advocacy group
May 8, 2007 Birillo files suit against Ivan Basso