Ullrich says he never doped, wants to race

25th July 2006, Comments 0 comments

25 July 2006, ZURICH - Suspended German cyclist Jan Ullrich broke his silence on Tuesday, insisting he never used forbidden doping substances in his career and was still dreaming of ending his career with a second Tour de France title. Asked by Swiss tabloid Blick whether he really never doped, Ullrich said: "Of course not. I have never cheated on other riders in my career. That's a fact." Ullrich, 32, was suspended along with other riders on the eve of the July 1 Tour de France start for alleged involveme

25 July 2006

ZURICH - Suspended German cyclist Jan Ullrich broke his silence on Tuesday, insisting he never used forbidden doping substances in his career and was still dreaming of ending his career with a second Tour de France title.

Asked by Swiss tabloid Blick whether he really never doped, Ullrich said: "Of course not. I have never cheated on other riders in my career. That's a fact."

Ullrich, 32, was suspended along with other riders on the eve of the July 1 Tour de France start for alleged involvement in a Spanish doping scheme centring on doctor Eufemiano Fuentes.

Official documents from the Guardia Civil reportedly heavily implicate the German rider - he has been linked with illegal blood transfusions and various doping substances ranging from Human Growth Hormone and testosterone - and faces being kicked out by his T-Mobile team.

But Ullrich said in his first interview since the suspension there was no evidence that he did anything wrong and that he doesn't expect to be banned.

"I don't expect to be banned. There is simply no basis for a ban," said Ullrich, adding that he will also fight T-Mobile if he is fired.

"I don't accept being fired because there is no reason for it from my point of view."

Asked by Blick whether he personally knew Fuentes, Ullrich only said that "I have already commented on this." He said earlier he didn't know the Spanish doctor.

The interview was published on the same day as a scheduled meeting between Ullrich's lawyers and those from T-Mobile on his future at the team.

Ullrich also reiterated he does not plan a DNA test, saying: "I don't have to prove my innocence. I am a professional cyclist and not a killer or a criminal."

Ullrich said he thought he could have won the Tour for the second time since 1997 this year, which made the suspension even harder to swallow at first.

"Let's put it this way: The chance was really big.

"I was in top form ahead of the Tour and then I had to leave one day ahead of the start. I was suspended and didn't know what would happen. I was naturally very down, went through a major slump and had motivation problems," he said.

But Ullrich said that he is back in training by now and was in informal contact with other teams.

"I am looking for a good team for 2007. I don't simply want to ride for another year, I want this very big success. In order to achieve this I need a professional team in which you can have fun as well.

"I always said I will quit after winning the Tour. This year I was unfortunately denied it. That's why I am out to continue for another year," he said.

DPA

Subject: German news

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