The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) today found Jan Ullrich guilty of doping in relation to Operación Puerto. It upheld an appeal by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), banned the retired German cyclist for two years and stripped his results since May 1, 2005 - including a podium place at the Tour de France.
"Jan Ullrich was in personal contact with Dr Eufemiano Fuentes and paid more than €80,000 to him," read a CAS press release. "DNA analysis confirmed that his profile matched blood bags ready for doping."
Ullrich's suspension starts retroactively from August 22, 2011, and runs for two years. The results stripped include everything from May 1, 2005, until he retired in July 2006.
He finished second in the final Saint-Étienne time trial and third overall behind Lance Armstrong in the 2005 Tour de France. Ivan Basso (Team CSC) second and Francisco Mancebo (Illes Balears) fourth, both were linked to Fuentes.
The decision means Ullrich will lose five wins:
- 2005 Tour of Switzerland stage 2 TT (he finished 3rd overall)
- 2005 Tour of Germany stage 8 TT (2nd overall)
- 2006 Giro d'Italia stage 11 TT
- 2006 Tour of Switzerland stage 9 TT and overall title
The Spanish Guardia Civil police made several raids in Spain in May 2006, at the same time as the Giro d'Italia. They found coded blood bags, which were later linked to cyclists, and evidence of payments. As the investigation intensified, several teams and riders were prohibited, including Ullrich, or decided not to start the 2006 Tour. He was fired by German team, T-Mobile on July 20 and subsequently retired.
Ullrich and Basso were the only two cyclists who came close to toppling Armstrong during his seven year Tour reign, 1999 to 2005. The CAS, though, ruled that there was evidence of doping.
The CAS press release stated what the UCI's evidence showed:
1) Fuentes was engaged in the provision of doping services to athletes
2) Ullrich travelled in the vicinity of Fuentes' operations on multiple occasions and Ullrich was in personal contact with him
3) Ullrich paid more than €80,000 Fuentes for services that have not been particularised
4) DNA analysis confirmed that Jan Ullrich's genetic profile matched blood bags ready for use for doping purposes
The UCI filed an appeal with the CAS on March 22, 2010, to annul the Swiss Olympic's decision to close the case. It also asked the court to give Ullrich a lifetime suspension and strip all results from 29 May 2002.
"The CAS Panel rejected the request of the UCI to impose a lifetime ban on Ullrich, considering that the first doping offence that he committed in 2002 was due to the ingestion of amphetamines out-of-competition. Since 2002, amphetamines have been reclassified and their presence constitutes an anti-doping violation only if they are found in an athlete's system in-competition."
The CAS only considered the Fuentes connection Ullrich's first anti-doping violation and according banned him for two years.
Ullrich to hear fate from CAS on Thursday
Jan Ullrich returns
April 2008: Ullrich buys his way out of trouble
April 2007: DNA tests confirm Ullrich link to Operaction Puerto
July 2006: T-Mobile sack Ullrich and Sevilla
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Gregor Brown is an experienced cycling journalist, based in Florence, Italy. He has covered races all over the world for over a decade - following the Giro, Tour de France, and every major race since 2006. His love of cycling began with freestyle and BMX, before the 1998 Tour de France led him to a deep appreciation of the road racing season.
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