PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM
Jan Ullrich has stated his desire to return to competition again after being sacked by T-Mobile as a result of his implication in the Operacion Puerto investigation. However, the German is facing a new threat to this objective after Swiss Cycling, with whom he holds a racing licence, announced they are to open their own investigation into Ullrich's link to those involved in the Puerto affair.
"The Puerto/Jan Ullrich dossier has been examined by Swiss Cycling and the anti-doping commission," Swiss Cycling said in a statement on Tuesday. "The dossier has to be completed and certain parties notified. Then the file will be forwarded to the disciplinary body in charge of doping cases."
Ullrich has steadfastly denied any link to Eufemiano Fuentes, the Spanish doctor at the heart of the Puerto inquiry, but Wednesday's edition of the Sddeutsche Zeitung printed a copy of fax sent by Fuentes on which Ullrich's name features. This is the first document reportedly from the Puerto investigation in which Ullrich has been named directly rather than by the codenames 'Hijo de Rudicio' or 'JAN', which are believed to refer to him.
In the fax, sent to Nelson Giraldo, currently part of the management team at Comunitat Valenciana, Fuentes provides "the list of the collaborators and participants in the festival of May, hoping for your help and cooperation". The "festival of May" is believed to refer to the Giro, in which Ullrich rode and won a mid-race time trial.
As well as Ullrich, whose name is spelt with one 'l', the list also includes the name of the top two finishers at the Giro, Ivan Basso and Jos Enrique Gutierrez. The names of former Liberty Seguros riders Marcos Serrano and Michele Scarponi also feature on the list.
Meanwhile, Ullrich's adviser and lawyer, Wolfgang Strohband said on Thursday: "We hope that the hearings (of the Swiss federation disciplinary commission) will start soon because this affair is really playing on our nerves. We are awaiting the end of the procedure, but until then Jan isn't going to take part in any criteriums despite the large amount of money he'll be losing. Jan won't wear the T-Mobile jersey again - that page in history has definitively turned for us."
PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM