UCI explains CAS action against Jan Ullrich
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Friday, August 26, 2011

UCI explains CAS action against Jan Ullrich

by Shane Stokes at 6:42 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
Says appeal was necessary under circumstances

Jan UllrichAlthough Jan Ullrich last competed in a professional event five years ago, the rider was this week the subject of a CAS hearing over his involvement in the Operacion Puerto affair. The UCI appealed against Antidoping Switzerland over the non-sanctioning of the rider; this followed a decision last year by the Swiss Olympic Committee not to pursue an investigation.

The UCI has now explained the motives for its action against the German, who had a racing licence registered in Switzerland. “There are two main reasons,” said UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani to VeloNation. “First of all, because we can’t accept that just because you say ‘I am retiring’ that we don’t do anything against you. Maybe in the future you could then say you will come back [to racing]…if you are not been sanctioned by UCI you could , and we don’t want that.

“Secondly, and more generally, we can’t from a legal point of view create a precedent. In the future we could have the same situation appearing with another rider who says ‘listen, why are you suing me – you didn’t do the same with Ullrich two or three years ago?’ So we were obliged to do it.”

Ullrich was implicated in Operación Puerto after raids were carried out by investigators 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.

He was not allowed start the 2006 Tour de France and never raced professionally again. German prosecutors opened a fraud investigation but this was then ended when Ullrich paid a €250,000 fine in March 2008.

The 1997 Tour de France winner has had an at-times difficult retirement. He announced last year that he was suffering from emotional burnout but more recently said that he had recovered from it, citing a return to cycling training as playing a part in that.

Earlier this month he took part in the Giro delle Dolomiti Gran Fondo in Bolzano, Italy, under the pseudonym Max Kraft.

CAS confirmed to VeloNation that the hearing took place on Monday, and said that a decision would be announced at some point after the end of September.

Ullrich has never admitted using banned substances, but earlier this week his PR manager Falk Nier hinted that once all the various court actions were completed that he might speak more openly.

Ullrich indicated in early July that he was considering returning to the sport in a management role, possibly to work with a team of younger riders.

This may also be a factor in the UCI’s decision to seek a final pronouncement as to what occurred during his career. However a new ruling announced in June blocking those convicted of using doping substances from working with teams does not apply to those who did so prior to July 1st of this year.


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