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Ullrich Accepts CAS Decision
10 Feb, 2012

German Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich has finally been handed his sentence from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) some four years after the fan favourite retired from cycling in the wake of the Operation Puerto blood doping investigation.  Ullrich whose blood was a DNA match to that held in blood bags code named "Son of Rudy" (referring to his longtime mentor and manager Rudy Pevenage) has accepted the ruling that he is hereby suspended from holding a UCI liciense for two years and has his results scrubbed from May 2005 until his retirement in 2007 including his third place Tour de France finish in the 05 event.

In his statement to the press today Ullrich expressed the following:

 

The Court of Arbitration for Sport has now banned me for two years. This ruling brings disciplinary proceedings to an end, which has lasted almost three years. This sporting legal tug of war was unsatisfactory for all concerned for myself as for the public. It is incomprehensible to me why we all had to wait so long for this judgment.

I accept the ruling and will not challenge it. Not because I agree with all points in the court's opinion, but because I want to finish the issue definitively. As a personal consequence, I've pulled back in 2007 with my retirement from professional cycling. I confirm that I had contact with Fuentes. I know that that was a big mistake that I regret very much. For this behaviour, I would like to sincerely apologize to everyone - I'm very sorry. Looking back, I would act differently in certain situations during my career.

I wanted to get out of the Tour 2006 everything again. After my tour victory in 1997 and five second places in the public, sponsors and also my own pressure was immense. Everyone wanted a second tour victory, especially after the retirement of Lance Armstrong.

Shortly before the 2006 tour, I was hit: Suspension, headlines, ostracism, house searches, criminal complaints. I felt abandoned, fallen like a leaf. The whole world wanted to put me against the wall and then I went instinctively to ground, and eventually retired. As I said, I will not complain that not everything was warranted. Shortly after my suspension I wanted to explain my actions publicly but my hands were tied. On the advice of my lawyers, and as is usual in such cases, I have been silent on the allegations. Ultimately, this issue has polluted me for years so much that I was sick and I eventually broke down.

I am glad that finally a decision was made. For me this brings to an end my active career in cycling and it is very personal for me and my family for this difficult time to come to an end. Today's ruling will not have any bearing on my future plans. I never thought in any capacity to return to active professional cycling. This statement is from my side all that will be said on this subject and I would not like to make any further statements or interviews in public. I hope for your understanding. I hereby draw a line.

I owe a lot to cycling and will continue to further express my joy and passion for the sport to others. In the future I will therefore hope to be active in cycling in various roles. I look back on my cycling career and accomplishments with pride and look forward to my new career.

Jan Ullrich

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