German charges against Ullrich, Sevilla and Pevenage?

The District Attorney's office in Bonn, Germany, is considering a request to file charges against...

The District Attorney's office in Bonn, Germany, is considering a request to file charges against Jan Ullrich, Oscar Sevilla and Rudy Pevenage concerning fraud and pescription drug violations. State Attorney Monika Nostadt-Ziegenberg confirmed that her office had received a complaint on July 7 from Britta Bannenberg, a criminologist and professor at the University of Bielefeld.

The complaint is being investigated, and the attorneys expect to come to a conclusion in the next weeks, as to whether to pursue the case. Nostadt-Ziegenberg would not indicate how the investigation might end or what further steps might be taken.

In her complaint, Bannenberg said, "It must be assumed that Ullrich misled T-Mobile about the use of unallowed substances and that based on this error, the sponsor continued to pay him his salary and premiums."

Meanwhile former rival Lance Armstrong gave his thoughts on the case. "It's logical to advise Jan Ullrich to make a DNA test," he said. "That's the best way to clear his name." But, he notes, "I feel sorry for Jan. I really like him. I'm sure that he would have won this Tour."

In an interview at www.tagesspiegel.de, Armstrong stated that he has not spoken with either Ullrich or Basso, but said that he had telephoned Tour director Jean-Marie Leblanc on the Friday before the Tour started. "The suspensions really surprised me," he said. Leblanc "was surprised, too. I wished him luck and strength, because nobody wants this kind of a crisis.

"We have to continue the fight against doping. Every rider should be ready for unannounced tests 365 days a year, around the clock. Everybody who loves cycling should be ready to stand behind it now."

Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer

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