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CYCLING

Prosecutors set to offer deal to fallen cycling star Ullrich

German prosecutors are reported to be prepared to drop doping charges against Jan Ullrich if the fallen cycling star cooperates with their inquiry and pays a €1-million fine.

The report, which appears in Monday’s edition of Focus magazine, suggests the tribunal in Bonn handling Ullrich’s case is set to present this deal to the former T-Mobile rider’s lawyers.

The German has always denied ever using performance-enhancing substances, but prosecutors in Bonn have proof Ullrich had packets of his blood stored in the office of Eufemiano Fuentes, the Spanish doctor whose blood doping network network was exposed in 2006.

Ullrich was sacked by T-Mobile in July 2006 after he was banned from competing in that year’s Tour de France. He retired from the sport early last year.

SPORTS

German football fans get green light to return to stadiums next season

Bundesliga clubs and other German sports venues will be allowed to welcome up to 25,000 spectators from next month, the city of Berlin said Tuesday after a meeting of officials from Germany's 16 states.

German football fans get green light to return to stadiums next season
Germany fans at the recent Euro 2020 match in London. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Christian Charisius

Most matches in Germany’s top football league were played behind closed doors last season – so-called Geisterspiele or ghost games – because of the Covid-19 virus.

The new Bundesliga season starts on August 13th and with infection rates having fallen sharply, sports stadiums could be at 50 percent capacity, with the total number per match or event capped at 25,000.

The only exception is reigning Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, where up to 20,000 fans will be allowed into home games at the 75,000-capacity Allianz Arena because officials in Bavaria are allowing only 35 percent of capacity.

The new rules apply until September 11 and amid concerns in Germany about the Delta variant of the coronavirus, incidence rates must not exceed 35 new infections per 100,000 people over the previous seven days.

READ ALSO: German states call for uniform Covid rules at big events

If that happens, and “the infection cannot be clearly contained”, a maximum of 5,000 spectators will be allowed into sports events, German officials warned.

Only fans who can prove they are vaccinated or present a negative test will be allowed into stadiums and hygiene rules must be followed.

An easing of the regulations meant crowds of around 14,000 were allowed to attend Euro 2020 matches at Munich’s Allianz Arena over the last three weeks, but fans were largely kept out of German league games last season.

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