Ullrich appeared before CAS today, decision due after September
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Monday, August 22, 2011

Ullrich appeared before CAS today, decision due after September

by Shane Stokes at 11:12 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
PR manager hints German rider might make doping confession at some point in future

Jan UllrichOver five years since he last rode a professional cycling event, Jan Ullrich today appeared before the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The UCI had appealed a 2010 decision not to continue an investigation into the former rider’s involvement in Operación Puerto, and CAS set today as the date for that hearing.

“The hearing is over now and a final decision is not expected before the end of September,” confirmed CAS Secretary General Matthieu Reeb to VeloNation this afternoon. He stated that the UCI appeal was taken against Antidoping Switzerland rather than the Swiss Olympic Committee, as had previously been reported by some media.

Ullrich is German but previously registered his racing licence with the Swiss federation, falling under its jurisdiction. The Swiss Olympic Committee decided last year not to pursue an investigation against Ullrich.

Ullrich was implicated in Operación Puerto after raids were held in Madrid in May 2006. He was linked to the controversial Eufemiano Fuentes, and DNA tests reportedly confirmed that blood bags found in Fuentes’ clinic in Madrid did indeed contain blood which was extracted from the 1997 Tour winner.

The prosecutor in charge of a fraud investigation into the rider, Fred Apostel, told n-tv in 2007 that the situation was clear. “There is no doubt: the blood found with Dr. Fuentes in Spain is Jan Ullrich's,” he stated. “We found nine blood bags that we were able to compare with the DNA samples [saliva samples supplied by Ullrich]. In doing that we could firmly identify Ullrich.”

The fraud investigation ended when Ullrich paid a €250,000 fine in March 2008. In 2009 Spiegel reported that he had visited Fuentes a total of 24 times.

Ullrich last competed in 2006, his competitive career ending when he was pulled out of the Tour de France by his-then T-Mobile team. It was under huge pressure to do so because of the Operacion Puerto case. He has since returned to the sport in an amateur sense, recently riding the Giro delle Dolomiti Gran Fondo in Bolzano, Italy, under the pseudonym Max Kraft.

Meanwhile his new PR manager has hinted that the rider might decide to tell all at some point in the future. He has never admitted doping, but has also at times stopped short of fully denying it.

“The fact is that Jan will look at his past position in due course,” Falk Nier told the Bayerischen Rundfunk. “Now we cannot do that because there may be another process against him. But it is clear that we will treat it differently in the future, and he himself will personally try to educate all his fans.”

He was asked if that would entail a doping confession. “I can not answer you, unfortunately,” he replied.

Ullrich has had difficulties in recent years, stating one year ago that he had experienced burnout syndrome. He has since said that he is recovering and feeling much better, due in part to his return to the sport. Several others who competed alongside Ullrich on the T-Mobile team in the same era, namely Erik Zabel, Rolf Adlag and Bjarne Riis, admitted using EPO, and said it was a weight off their mind when they finally spoke publicly about it.


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