Ullrich has gone underground and refused internal T-Mobile DNA tests....

Discussion in 'Professional Cycling' started by whiteboytrash, Jul 17, 2006.

  1. whiteboytrash

    whiteboytrash New Member

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    Excellent article from the London Times this morning in regards to Ullrich.... appears that he is pulled the curtains down, taken the phone off the hook and is watching re-runs of the Marienhof... (German version of Neighbours)

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,28910-2273640,00.html

    Tour de France : Ullrich faces up to sack as T-Mobile take hard line

    By Jeremy Whittle
    Our correspondent hears how a team reeling from the latest scandal hope to lead the fight against doping

    [​IMG]OUTSIDE the Ibis Hotel in Béziers, the Mediterranean heat is infernal. But Christian Frommert is staying cool, despite the hate mail he is getting for throwing Jan Ullrich out of the T-Mobile team for the Tour de France. Yet Frommert is not a drugs squad officer, the president of a sporting federation or a race promoter; he is Ullrich’s sponsor.

    Frommert is the director of communications at T-Mobile. After seven years of domination by Lance Armstrong, the German team went to the start of this year’s Tour in Strasbourg with their leader, Ullrich, the 1997 champion, as the man to beat. The German rider, as much a star in his home nation as Michael Schumacher, had won the Tour of Switzerland and appeared to be in peak form. But a doping scandal, centred on the anonymous Madrid apartment of a Spanish sports doctor, Eufemiano Fuentes, was gaining momentum.

    NI_MPU('middle');Ullrich, Ivan Basso, his fellow Tour favourite, and 56 other riders were said to be involved in a longstanding blood-doping ring. The Guardia Civil investigation, nicknamed Operación Puerto, appeared to reach into every corner of the cycling world. Now, unless there is a dramatic development, Ullrich’s contract with T-Mobile is likely to be terminated by the end of this month.

    As the Tour loomed large, Frommert and Luuc Eisenga, T-Mobile’s media officer, expected the worst. “The first real concerns we had came after the article in El País on the Monday before the Tour started,” Frommert said. “They were concrete accusations, but we had no proof. Then on the Friday morning, at 9.25, we got a fax from the Tour organisation. The team presentation was due to begin at 9.30 — so we made the decision immediately.”

    The exact content of that fax, detailing the findings of the Spanish investigation, remains secret, but the German media have now printed damaging allegations that Ullrich and his coach, Rudy Pevenage, obtained a pharmacopoeia of products from Fuentes. The contents of the fax left few doubts in Frommert’s mind.

    “The decision to suspend Jan only took one minute,” he said. “On the Wednesday and Thursday we had made plans according to what might happen, so we had strategies in place. When the proof arrived, we took the decision. But we had also discussed it with Jan every step of the way.

    “On Thursday evening we told him that if there was no new proof that he could ride the Tour, but that if there was new evidence we’d stop him. He said ‘OK — I understand’.”

    The fax showed that, contrary to what Ullrich and Pevenage had maintained to Frommert and Eisenga, there had been regular contact with Fuentes. “There had been phone calls, text messages,” Frommert said. “In one call they talked about ‘the third person’ having won and that was the day Jan won a time-trial stage in the Giro d’Italia.”

    But Ullrich appeared unable to take in the seriousness of his predicament. “On Friday at about midday I went to his room,” Frommert said. “He was still training on his stationary bike. I said ‘look — these are the facts . . . ’ He said he still wanted to ride, but I told him he couldn’t.”

    Frommert said that he pleaded with Ullrich to undergo a DNA test. “But he decided not to. The whole situation might possibly have been solved if he’d agreed to do it,” he said.

    After all the scandals of the past ten years, principally revolving around the spread of blood doping, Frommert understands that professional cyclists can no longer rely on the presumption of innocence.

    “The principle of society is innocence until guilt is proven,” Frommert said, “but Jan had more to lose than just a start at the 2006 Tour, more than just his contract with us. His reputation and credibility were at stake. I told him weeks ago that he had to take a DNA test, but he kept saying no.”

    NI_MPU('middle');For T-Mobile, German cycling and the Tour itself, the Ullrich scandal has been a catastrophe. “It’s a deep crisis,” Frommert said. “But we think this is a great chance to be very open and very clear about the way ahead. We think there’s a possibility for change and want to play an active part. It’s an opportunity and we have a responsibility to try to take it.”

    T-Mobile has sponsored cycling, both professionally and at amateur level, for 15 years. The team have won the Tour twice, through Bjarne Riis in 1996 and Ullrich in 1997, and have a women’s team. The company also sponsors the Tour of Britain and its investment in the professional scene is estimated to be more than €100 million (about £69 million).

    “Sponsoring is not just about brand awareness any more, so it’s really important that you have values,” Frommert said. “You have to attack doping with money and power. We owe this to the riders, the organisers, the media and the public.”

    Ullrich is now suspended by T-Mobile. “When he left Strasbourg, he said ‘I will prove my innocence’, but we have heard nothing from him or his management,” Frommert said. “Last week we asked him again to prove his innocence, but heard nothing. So the next step is to terminate his contract.”

    Withdrawing Ullrich from the team at the eleventh hour has not done much for Frommert’s popularity in Germany. “I have had e-mails saying ‘You’re a liar’ and ‘I will kill you’ and so on, but we stand for a proper sport,” he said.

    “Maybe it’s still not a totally clean Tour, but that’s not the issue. You have to take a stand for clean sport.”

    Both Frommert and Eisenga are baffled that so many riders have evaded detection in standard UCI (International Cycling Union) doping controls. “How can it be that riders can take all these products — hormones, testosterone, insulin — and nobody catches them? The testing is not adequate,” Frommert said. They argue that now there is proof of this because most of the riders on the Guardia Civil list have never been caught by UCI controls. “The UCI have to play a more proactive role,” Frommert said, “and we fully support random testing, whenever they want. People say they have never tested positive, but that doesn’t mean anything any more.”

    Yet T-Mobile sponsored a rider, Riis, who has yet to live down using that very line. Riis, winner of the Tour in 1996, answered a question on his own use of doping products on Danish TV with the response: “I have never tested positive.” He is now directeur sportif of Basso’s CSC team. T-Mobile have doubts that Ullrich’s malpractice was confined only to 2006. “From the documents, you can see that maybe it was in 2005 and 2004, also,” Frommert said. His company will never again take on a rider who brings with him his own entourage of “advisers”. Despite their traumas, as sponsors of the Tour of Britain, T-Mobile will bring a strong team to the British stage race in late August. “It’s an important event for us,” Frommert said. “But we’ll definitely be coming without Jan and Rudy.”
     
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  2. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    I am not sure about refusing the test,but to my knowledge he was at home Friday and has been taking casual bike rides. If that constitutes going underground then I guess he has gone underground.
     
  3. whiteboytrash

    whiteboytrash New Member

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    Just a bit worrying thats all.... Basso and lawyer have come out with some punches and T-Mobile and the fans have heard nothing from Ullrich.... what are we to think ?
     
  4. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    Yes, I personally believe he is finished as a pro cyclist as there will be way too much baggage to eliminate in a timely manner.
    A pure shame!
     
  5. whiteboytrash

    whiteboytrash New Member

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    Agreed.... and to be honest and don't think Ullrich really cares anymore.... I think he is happy to sit on his nestegg rather than spend a million trying to defend himself.... or maybe a re-match with Basso at the Vuelta ! :)
     
  6. musette

    musette New Member

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    I repeat. That soebody is silent whilst they are awaiting the full dossier is not evidence of guilt.
     
  7. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    I don't believe either of said he was guility and I hope he is not. I do believe this will finish his race career.
    I hope he can maintain credibility to promote his business ventures.
     
  8. wicklow200

    wicklow200 New Member

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    Yes but in cycling its different....for example "I never failed a drugs test" doesn't mean shit.
     
  9. JohnO

    JohnO New Member

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    Exactly... technically speaking, blood doping isn't a drug. It's your own blood, just more of it.

    I still hope Jan wasn't involved in this, but then again, I had the same hope for Hamilton back in 2004. Geez, do I feel dumb for supporting him...
     
  10. Ullefan

    Ullefan New Member

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    Hopefully he can get the peace and quiet he prefers now. JH hope you still stay in contact anyway.
     
  11. alibat

    alibat New Member

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    Alot of the German press websites, and also http://www.eurosport.de are reporting that Ullrich will make a statement soon in response to the accusations. Also they are saying that Jan and his lawyers have still yet to receive a report containing all the allegations (I think, although my German isn't good and the bablefish translation isn't much better).
     
  12. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    Yes I will as best I can. Steinhauser is at the tour so I am not getting as much information as I would like.
    There is also the fact that Jan and Steinhauser had a lot of plans for the future which are probably down the crapper now.
    Jan demise will effect several others, unfortunately.
     
  13. bauerfan

    bauerfan New Member

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    It would appear that a prepared statement has now been released although the details are a bit sketchy http://www.radsport-aktiv.de/sport/sportnews_39531.htm
    Jan is not making a public statement. His lawyers have taken up contact with the spanish authorities to determine what if any concrete evidence there is against him. In a statement distributed by T-Mobile in Gap Jan (or probably his lawyers) says “In a constitutional state does the presumption of innocence not only apply to me, but also to everyone else, until the opposite is proven.”


    This has a long way to run out.
     
  14. whiteboytrash

    whiteboytrash New Member

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    That was the worst German translation I have ever seen ! Some of you guys have to stop using the on-line translation tools... they are literal translators not context translators...

     
  15. sydsyd

    sydsyd New Member

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    What else can you do if you aren't fluent in German? *laugh* I guess we wait until news is filtered down to Eurosport, cyclingnews or velonews.

    According to this snippet from one article I could find in English, Strohband claims that Jan's lawyers did provide some documents to T-Mobile before the Thursday deadline:

    "Strohband said that Ullrich's lawyers sent documents to T-Mobile on time in which they said there was no evidence of Ullrich's involvement in the Spanish case."

    No details that I could find as to what those documents were.
     
  16. bauerfan

    bauerfan New Member

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    You know what I can actually read it in German and was only translating for others benefit -- yes an English speaker would say "In a democratic state there is a presumption of innocence which I as well as all others can rely upon" -- happy now
     
  17. bauerfan

    bauerfan New Member

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    There is now a piece on Ullrich's website http://www.janullrich.de/index.php?id=17&dat_id=12097
    I won't bother translating. However, I would note that his first point seems directly aimed at whiteyboytrash as he indicates that he hasn't disappeared (or in hiding) and is simply living his life as always out of public view at home. He also does indicate without any detail that his lawyers did communicate with T-Mobile on or before last Thursday's T-Mobile imposed deadline.

    Now on the T-Mobile site http://www.t-mobile-team.com/cms/tm...ID=2006/monthID=6/itemID=103110/id=78100.html

    T-Mobile pro Jan Ullrich released the following declaration on Monday:

    17.7.2006/ On the allegations and speculations, spread largely through the media, I declare the following today:
    1. I am not in hiding, but still live at my Swiss residence and am openly living my life here.
    2. Contrary to other reports, my lawyers have forwarded a written declaration about the allegations made against me to the managing agency of my team, the Olaf Ludwig Cycling GmbH, in due time last Thursday.
    3. At the recommendation of my lawyers, I will currently release no further public explanations. My lawyers are in contact with the Spanish investigation authorities in order to determine, if and in what form allegations have been actually made against me. As in any country subject to the rule of law, the until proven guilty standard applies not only to me, but to every other person, too.
    Jan Ullrich
    Scherzingen
    17.07.06
     
  18. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    He is at home athough he has been offered sanctuary in some remote places.
    Just to get away for a while,but so far he has not accepted these offers.
     
  19. sonicman

    sonicman New Member

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    The one that has really gone underground is Mancebo. He "retired" and now no one talks about him... So now he´s quitely waiting to see what happens, praying...
     
  20. helmutRoole2

    helmutRoole2 New Member

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    I'm sure you don't mean to say that Jan was on the web one day and said, "Damn, I've got to shut up that f_cking Whiteboytrash!"

    Anyway, a DNA test would go a long way to resolving this issue, although it's not required. I's do it if were innocent.

    However, in urban mythology, sometimes people get drugged and wake up in a strange hotel room in a bathtub full of ice, missing a kidney. That may have happened to Jan, except, of course, they took a couple pints of his blood. And if that's true -- and it sure seems like a plausible explanation on par with a vanishing twin -- it would also seem that they were (one) Spanish and (two) trying to give it back to him.

    I have more such theories if anyone is interested, including one revolving around a UFO siting in Germany at about the same time the scandal broke and another involving an encounter with Sasquash in downtown Munich. And yes, both parties are willing to contribute DNA samples.
     
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