Jan Ullrich to come clean?
Berlin - Former Tour de France champion Jan Ullrich of Germany appears ready to come clean at last and confess to doping in his career, his manager Falk Nier suggested on Tuesday ahead of an expected Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling on the rider.
The ruling cycling body UCI and the World Anti-Doping Agency have appealed a ruling before the CAS from the Swiss federation to end investigations against Ullrich on whether he was a client of Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes who is to have supplied riders with doping substances.
The CAS said in the past that a ruling in the case against Ullrich, who competed with a Swiss licence because he lived in the country, should be made by Wednesday (November 30).
Ullrich manager Falk Nier said that Ullrich may follow former Telekom (and T-Mobile) team-mates such as Eric Zabel and Bjaerne Riis and admit to have used forbidden substances during his career highlighted by the 1996 Tour title.
"That could happen in any case, regardless how the CAS decides," Nier told dpa.
Ullrich was kicked out of the T-Mobile team just ahead of the 2006 Tour de France when the Spanish probe against Fuentes became public. He later suffered from burnout and now takes part in charity cycling events. Finally coming clean could open more doors for him.
Ullrich, who officially retired in 2007, never confessed to doping, saying only he never betrayed other riders. German state investigations ended in a settlement in which Ullrich paid a large sum to charities.
Nier said it was totally unclear how the CAS will decide on the case. The panel can follow the Swiss ruling, ask for the probe to continue it, or ban Ullrich for life in what would by more a symbolic gesture.