Tour de France Winner Jan Ullrich Surprised by Alberto Contador Ban
1997 Tour de France champion Jan Ullrich described a doping ban for Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador as "unexpected and tough" on Wednesday on the eve of receiving the ruling in his own Court of Arbitration (CAS) case.
1997 Tour de France champion Jan Ullrich described the doping ban for Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador as "unexpected and tough" on Wednesday on the eve of receiving the ruling in his own Court of Arbitration (CAS) case.
"This is a tough verdict and I did not expect that," Ullrich commented and added "I wish Alberto a lot of strength so that he can return in August in full force. A cyclist like him is superb for the sport."
Contador was banned for two years on Monday by CAS for failing a drugs test during his victorious 2010 Tour de France campaign.
The Spaniard, also stripped of the Tour de France title in Monday's CAS ruling, is considering appealing and insisted he is innocent of deliberate doping.
He said he planned to return to competition when the retroactive ban ends in August.
Ullrich is awaiting a CAS decision on Thursday over the German's alleged involvement in a blood-doping scandal.
The Operation Puerto scandal broke in 2006, when Spanish police launched raids that uncovered more than 200 code-named blood bags, some of which were linked to cyclists.
Ullrich, who retired in 2007, became the first German to win the Tour de France in 1997. He has denied being involved in the scandal.
"Tomorrow (Thursday) is a happy day for me. I am happy to have the decision after waiting for almost six years," Ullrich said.
"I had to suffer a lot and even suffered burn-out. I am happy to have the verdict. Then I can again comment on it and then it is over and done with."