Ullrich describes tomorrow’s CAS ruling as a ‘happy day’
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Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Ullrich describes tomorrow’s CAS ruling as a ‘happy day’

by Shane Stokes at 11:59 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
1997 Tour winner wants to get on with his life

Jan UllrichSpeaking in advance of tomorrow’s CAS ruling, Jan Ullrich has said that he will feel relief whatever the outcome.

“Tomorrow (Thursday) is a happy day for me. I am happy to have the decision after waiting for almost six years,” he said, according to Reuters.

"I had to suffer a lot and even suffered burn-out. I am happy to have the verdict. Then I can again comment on it and then it is over and done with.”

Ullrich won the Tour de France in 1997 and was runner-up on five occasions. However his career came to a close after he was implicated in the Operacion Puerto affair in May 2006.

Perhaps because he retired from the sport, he was never sanctioned; this was appealed by both Swiss Anti-Doping and the UCI and while the former was ruled on November not to have jurisdiction, the latter’s appeal went forward. Tomorrow will mark the end of that process, and Ullrich will receive the CAS ruling then.

The German has already hinted on several occasions that he might speak frankly about his career at some point in the future. In November, his manager Falk Nier was asked if Ullrich was planning on admitting using banned substances.

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

A number of Ullrich’s former T-Mobile team-mates such as Rolf Aldag, Erik Zabel and Bjarne Riis have confessed to doping while with the squad. Those who have done so have often indicated that it is a weight off their mind to speak after years of silence.

Ullrich’s comments about tomorrow being a relief, whatever the ruling, plus Nier’s comments suggest that he too might follow a similar path.

After several years of being withdrawn and under pressure, he appears to be more content in himself. He has credited a return to cycling as being a major factor in his recovery from burnout. Ullrich has ridden a number of Gran Fondos and has more planned for this year.

Cycling is regarded now by many as being considerably cleaner now than it was during the '90s and 2000s.

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