CAS rules Jan Ullrich guilty of doping with Fuentes
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Thursday, February 09, 2012

CAS rules Jan Ullrich guilty of doping with Fuentes

by Ben Atkins at 5:44 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Doping
 
Two-year suspension for retired German rider; forfeits final Tour de France podium

jan ullrichThe Court for Arbitration in Sport (CAS) has ruled in favour of an appeal lodged by the International Cycling Union (UCI) against the acquittal of Jan Ullrich for his involvement in the blood-doping ring uncovered by Operación Puerto in 2006. Despite the German – who rode under a Swiss licence – reportedly being linked by DNA evidence to blood bags found in the fridge of Madrid gynaecologist Eufemiano Fuentes, the decision was eventually made by Swiss Olympic not to sanction the 1997 tour de France winner.

Appeals to CAS were launched in August last year by the UCI and Swiss-Antidoping; the Swiss case was dismissed in November on a jurisdictional technicality, but the UCI appeal has now been successful.

CAS has ruled that Ullrich receive a two-year suspension, starting on August 22nd last year – the day that the appeals were lodged – and that he loses all of his results since May 1st 2005. While the German has retired from racing, and is now unlikely to make a comeback aged 38, it will prevent him from taking up any management or coaching role until August 2013.

While this is a victory for the UCI, it has not been awarded everything it wanted; in its appeal the governing body had requested a lifetime ban for the German, since he has been sanctioned for doping once before, and that all of his results be annulled since May 29 2002, which was the date of the offence. CAS ruled though that, since his previous offence was an out-of competition positive for amphetamines – which have since been reclassified to only constitute a doping offence if used in competition – that a lifetime ban was not appropriate.

May 1st 2005 was chosen as the date from which to reverse his results, since that was the date after which it could be established that he was fully engaged with Fuentes.

The ruling strips the German of a number of his results, including overall victory in the 2006 Tour de Suisse, second overall in the 2005 Deutschland Tour, a time trial stage of the 2006 Giro d’Italia, and – most significantly of all – third place in the 2005 Tour de France, his seventh and final appearance on the Paris podium.


Ironically, this ruling elevates current CompetitiveCyclist.com rider Francisco Mancebo to the 2005 Tour podium; the Spanish rider was also initially implicated in Operación Puerto but no action was ever taken against him.

With this decision Ullrich joins a very short, select list of riders – from the original list of 56 cyclists, within an allegedly 200-strong list of athletes – to have been sanctioned for his involvement with Fuentes; his name is now listed alongside Italians Ivan Basso and Michele Scarponi, Austrian Jörg Jaksche, and Spaniard Alejandro Valverde.

The ruling comes after a tumultuous few days for cycling, which has seen US federal authorities surprisingly close their two-year investigation into Lance Armstrong, and CAS announce its decision to impose a two-year suspension of Alberto Contador for his positive clenbuterol test in the 2010 Tour de France.

More to follow on this story.

The CAS statement reads:

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has rendered its decision in the arbitration between the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and the German cyclist Jan Ullrich & Swiss Olympic. The CAS has partially upheld the appeal filed by the UCI and has found Jan Ullrich guilty of a doping offence. As a consequence, Jan Ullrich is sanctioned with a two-year period of ineligibility starting retroactively on 22 August 2011. Furthermore, all results achieved by the athlete on or after 1 May 2005 until his retirement are annulled.

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