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Jan Ullrich visited doping doctor 24 times

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Jan Ullrich visited doping doctor 24 times
Photo:DPA
11:41 CEST+02:00
Former cycling pro Jan Ullrich visited a notorious doping doctor 24 times during the last three years of his career, according to documents seen by news magazine Der Spiegel.

The weekly reported that Ullrich, once the brightest star of German cycling and winner of the 1997 Tour de France, visited Eufemiano Fuentes in Madrid 24 times between 2003 and 2006. And from February 2005 and May 2006 he saw the doctor eight times.

Ullrich's then advisor at Team Telekom and T-Mobile Rudy Pevenage organised the flights and himself went to Madrid a total of 15 times between December 2003 and April 2006 to meet with the Spanish doping network, according to detectives from Germany's federal police.

The magazine said investigators secured the evidence of Ullrich's trips to Madrid on a computer they seized from Pevenage's flat during a raid. Although the hard drive had been wiped, experts managed to restore it and extract the data.

Der Spiegel said the Bonn public prosecutor has a more than 2,000-page file on Ullrich, who had been suspected fraud in July 2006. The investigation was dropped in March 2008 after Ullrich paid a fine of €250,000.

The magazine cited from the file, which declares: “In summary, it can be established that the accused, Ullrich, used the doping system of the Spanish doctor Fuentes in order to prepare himself for competition in contravention of his contract by using performance-enhancing ways and methods.”

Ullrich did not speak with the prosecutor, the magazine reported, while Pevenage admitted that the cyclist met Fuentes five or six times between 2004 and 2006, although he said he knew nothing of any blood treatments.

Pevenage said he had been asked by Ullrich to make contact with the doctor because of the cyclist's problems with his weight. The magazine said investigators found evidence of two payments to Fuentes totalling €80,000.

Ullrich was suspended from the sport for six months in 2002 after a test proved positive for amphetamines while he was recovering from a knee injury. He was also thrown out of Team Telekom.

After that he continued to compete in the Tour de France for various teams, but a string of injuries and health problems dogged his progress there and in other races. In 2006 he and teammate in Team T-Mobile Oscar Sevilla were suspended on suspicion of doping.

The following year he announced his retirement from active sport, deciding to coach an Austrian team.

He has consistently denied any wrong-doing, but bags of his blood were found at the doping doctor Fuentes' practice in Madrid.

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