Former Tour de France champion Jan Ullrich was on Thursday found guilty of blood doping by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in connection with the case of Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes and stripped of third place at the 2005 Tour.
The CAS said in a statement that there was enough evidence from documents by the ruling cycling body UCI to find the now retired Ullrich guilty.
“The CAS has ... found Jan Ullrich guilty of a doping offence. As a consequence, Jan Ullrich is sanctioned with a two—year period of ineligibility starting retroactively on 22 August 2011. Furthermore, all results achieved by the athlete on or after 1 May 2005 until his retirement (in February 2007) are annulled,” CAS said.
As a result, Ullrich loses third place from the 2005 Tour and is also stripped of the 2006 Tour de Suisse title.
The CAS ruling ended a complicated case which also involved the Swiss cycling federation and Olympic Committee because he was competing with a Swiss licence at the time.
Ullrich was kicked out of the T—Mobile team when the Fuentes case became public in 2006 and retired a few months later.
His merits include the 1997 Tour de France title, the 1999 Vuelta, Olympic road race gold and time trial silver in 2000 and two time trial world titles from 1999 and 2001.
Ullrich protested his innocence over the years, saying, “I never cheated anyone,” and paid an undisclosed sum after an agreement with German prosecutors who were also probing him.
The CAS ruled based on the UCI evidence that he was guilty as one of Fuentes’ clients.
“With respect to the merits, the CAS Panel noted that the documentary evidence presented by the UCI showed that 1) Dr Fuentes was engaged in the provision of doping services to athletes, 2) Jan Ullrich travelled in the vicinity of Dr Fuentes operations on multiple occasions, and evidence in Fuentes’ possession suggested that Jan Ullrich was in personal contact with him, “3) Jan Ullrich paid more than 80 000 euros to Dr Fuentes for services that have not been particularized, and 4) a DNA analysis confirmed that Jan Ullrich’s genetic profile matched blood bags ready for doping purposes found in the possession of Dr Fuentes.
“The Panel also expressed its surprise that Jan Ullrich did not question the veracity of the evidence or any other substantive aspect of this case, limiting his defence to procedural issues.
“Given the volume, consistency and probative value of the evidence presented by the UCI, and the failure of Jan Ullrich to raise any doubt about the veracity or reliability of such evidence, this Panel came to the conclusion that Jan Ullrich engaged at least in blood doping,” CAS said.
CAS rejected a UCI appeal for a lifetime ban and retroactive ban from 2002 onwards, saying that a doping suspension at the time after being caught for a stimulant did not warrant such a harsh second sanction.
The judges said they decided to ban Ullrich from May 1, 2005 onwards, because “it is established that Jan Ullrich was fully engaged with Dr Fuentes’ doping program at least from that date.” Thursday’s ruling came three days after the CAS banned Spain’s Alberto Contador for two years over a positive doping test at the 2010 Tour and stripped him of the title won in that race.