Cinelli to sign Jaksche?

The new Cinelli team is reportedly close to signing German cyclist Jörg Jaksche. Last week, Jaksche...

The new Cinelli team is reportedly close to signing German cyclist Jörg Jaksche. Last week, Jaksche was ready to call an end to his career and devote his time to studying for a law degree, but also did not rule out returning to the peloton. "If a team would call me tomorrow and want to take me on, I would think about it," he said, and apparently, the call came.

Cinelli team director Nico Mattan confirmed that the team is close to an agreement. "I heard Thursday that Jaksche is coming," Mattan told Sporza.be. "Only the signature is still missing." If the deal goes through, Jaksche will join Frank Vandenbroucke on the team.

Jaksche has been out of competition since being embroiled in the Operación Puerto doping scandal in 2006. He was part of Manolo Saiz' Liberty Seguros team, which lost its sponsor when Saiz was arrested as part of the Spanish sting operation on the Madrid clinic of Eufemiano Fuentes. The police raid netted hundreds of bags of stored blood as well as other doping products.

The team continued as Astana-Würth, but then pulled out of the 2006 Tour de France after the majority of its team was named in the case. While several of the team's riders, including 2007 Tour de France champion Alberto Contador, were cleared by the Spanish court, Jaksche and Italian Michele Scarponi admitted to their involvement with Fuentes.

In 2007, Jaksche gave an unusually thorough admission of his doping practices over the course of his career. He admitted to using Fuentes for blood doping in 2005 and received a one-year suspension.

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