Ullrich denies doping under oath

Tour winner awarded 340,000 euros in back pay

Former Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich has won 340,000 euros in back pay after insisting under oath that he did not use drugs.

The 34-year-old, who won the Tour in 1997, has always vehemently denied claims of doping.

His former team Coast were ordered to pay him the money - worth about £285,000 / US$425,000 - by a court in Dusseldorf, Germany, yesterday.

The team, now defunct, had refused to pay some of Ullrich's salary in the belief the rider was not clean when he joined in 2003.

"Truth has won out,"  the SID sports agency quoted Ullrich as saying. "I testified on oath, before God, as I am a believer. What more can I do? Those who know me know I told the truth 1,000 percent."

Ullrich ended his career in February last year after being implicated in the Puerto scandal in Spain but never tested positive for any banned substance. Asked if he'd had personal contact with controversial Spanish doctor Eufemio Fuentes, caught up in Puerto, Ullrich insisted: "No."

In April, he paid a "six-figure" fine to end a fraud case which had dogged him since July 2006. German prosecutors had accused him of taking performance-enhancing drugs, leading to fraud charges of alleged deception of the public, sponsors and his team.

Ullrich said afterwards: "The payment of this fine is not a recognition of guilt ... it allows (me) to free my family from the pressure surrounding this procedure. I never cheated anyone in my whole career, nor did I prejudice anyone. I was always a loyal sportsman, my victories were the result of hard work and passion for my sport."

Under German law, Ullrich had the option to settle the matter out of court if he paid up and duly did so. After the Puerto investigation in Spain, his former team T-Mobile sacked Ullrich, pre-empting his resignation.

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