By Susan Westemeyer
Jörg Jaksche has "been through hell" the last six months, but is ready to ride again. The German, who lives in Austria, told the press agency dpa that, all things considered, the summer could actually have been worse, after he was named in the Spanish Operación Puerto doping scandal.
"I continued to be paid by Manolo Saiz's firm Active Bay, got my money promptly every month and will try to fulfil my contract which runs through 2007," said the 30 year-old. He denies involvement in the doping scheme, "I know Fuentes but my contact to him had nothing to do with doping. I can't imagine that compromising videos of me visiting Fuentes exist, as has been claimed."
Jaksche has resumed training in hopes of riding the 2007 season. "The Austrian federation will for the time being, until they receive further information from the Spanish investigators, not open proceedings against him," noted his attorney Michael Lehner. "Right now, Jaksche could ride again, like Ivan Basso, when his team continues to exist. If it falls apart, he could have a problem finding a new one."
"I would like to continue, I miss the racing and the environment," continued Jaksche, "but lately I've had to ask myself: Is this still the right job for you?"
Read Cyclingnews' March 2006 interview with Jörg Jaksche