With CAS verdict imminent, Ullrich’s manager implies rider could tell all
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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

With CAS verdict imminent, Ullrich’s manager implies rider could tell all

by Shane Stokes at 9:25 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Suggests that a frank discussion about his past could be on the cards

Jan UllrichWith a verdict due on his CAS case likely either today or tomorrow, Jan Ullrich’s manager Falk Nier has made the strongest suggestion yet that the former Tour winner could tell all about his past. Asked if Ullrich is considering admitting the use of banned substances during his career, Nier indicated that a confession could well be coming.

“That could happen in any case, regardless of how the CAS decides,” he told dpa.

The current CAS decision relates to an appeal by the UCI against the non-sanctioning of the rider by Antidoping Switzerland. Last year the Swiss Olympic Committee opted not to pursue an investigation into the rider, who was implicated in Operacion Puerto in 2006.

“The verdict could go in any direction,” stated Nier, referring to the Swiss court’s decision. “We expect at any moment the announcement by the CAS, which had set the 30th November as a deadline. Of course Jan is now thinking of Lausanne [where the verdict will come from].”

Ullrich won the Tour de France in 1997 and was Lance Armstrong’s closest rival in several Tours. In addition to that victory, he finished second five times, and was also third and fourth overall. He also won the 1999 Vuelta a España plus the 2000 Olympic road race.

He hasn’t competed professionally since leaving the 2006 Tour de France on the eve of the event, departing due to the Puerto allegations. He officially retired the following year. Ullrich has recently returned to the sport, albeit at an amateur level, riding Gran Fondos in Italy, Austria and, nine days ago, in Miami.

He credits cycling with helping him overcome emotional burnout, and is thought to be keen to move on with his life. As a result, the CAS verdict and whatever else comes with that will help him close a door.

Other former T-Mobile team-mates such as Rolf Aldag, Erik Zabel and Bjarne Riis have already confessed to using banned substances. Those who have done so have often indicated that it is a weight off their mind to speak out after years of silence.

“All of us, including Jan, would prefer that the matter is finally settled,” Nier told dpa last month.

The sport is generally perceived now to be cleaner than it was in the past.

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