The Bonn, Germany, prosecutor's office has confirmed earlier reports that it is preparing to do a DNA comparison on bags allegedly containing blood from Jan Ullrich, which were found in the offices of Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes during the Spanish authority's Operación Puerto investigation. "We will have the bags of blood from Spain shortly, that can be next week or the beginning of February," prosecutor Fred Apostel told DPA.
According to press agency sid, Apostel said that his office has already received the underlying documents from Spain and is still waiting for documents from Switzerland and Belgium. The Belgium documents deal with the results of a search of the house of Rudy Pevenage, Ullrich's longtime advisor.
Apostel would not predict when a decision would be made as to whether to close the investigation or open a prosecution. "This kind of international investigation takes time," he said.
A comparison of the blood bag and Ullrich's DNA will go a long way in determining how strong the 1997 Tour de France winner's links to the Spanish investigation are. Ullrich's management were unwilling to comment on the situation, which could either prove the use of performance-enhancing drugs or clear the rider of any wrong-doing.
"Our attorneys are very much aware of the situation and will respond at the appropriate time," said Ullrich's manager Wolfgang Strohband.
Cyclingnews' recent coverage of 'Operación Puerto'
April 2, 2009 - Valverde indignant over possible suspension
April 1, 2009 - Valverde: Italy requests two-year suspension
March 13, 2009 - Le Monde newspaper hit with fine over Puerto allegations
March 2, 2009 - WADA president Fahey asks for Puerto evidence
February 24, 2009 - Spanish federation seeks access to Puerto blood bags
February 20, 2009 - CONI considers Valverde case while UCI awaits verdict
February 19, 2009 - Valverde under criminal investigation
February 11, 2009 - Valverde summonsed for Operación Puerto in Italy
February 8, 2009 - Eight charged in Operación Puerto