By VeloNews Interactive wire services , Copyright AFP2002
Jan Ullrich, the 1997 Tour de France winner, was cleared of doping allegations stemming from police raids conducted during last year’s Giro d’Italia by the German cycling federation (BDR). Ullrich was among a number of riders and team members who fell under suspicion following a police raid on the Tour of Italy last June where a number of illegal but also medicinal substances were seized. However the majority of the cases have led to little in the way of what could be classified real doping. The BDR’s decision on Wednesday follows that of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) which also rejected accusations against the Telekom team’s 28-year-old Ullrich, and the team’s doctor Lothar Heinrich. All accusations were deemed unfounded. “In both cases it does not amount to doping,” the president of the UCI’s anti-doping commission, Leon Schattenberg, told the BDR.
The BDR’s vice-president, former cycling champion Olaf Ludwig, said the decision would make little difference to Ullrich. “Jan has always known he was innocent, so the word ‘relief’ can not really describe what he is feeling,” said Ludwig, speaking on behalf of the Telekom team.