Jörg Ludewig came to the T-Mobile Team this year filled with high hopes and dreams of doing well, but the dream has turned into a nightmare. July saw the publication of a letter he wrote at the beginning of his career asking about buying doping products. Now, eight years later, the letter has come back not only to haunt him but to prematurely end his T-Mobile career. The team has announced that it will honour his contract through the end of the year, but will not use him in any races.
Frustrated, he writes at his website, www.joerg-ludewig.de, "I have something to make good and would rather have let my athletic deeds speak for me instead of my words. But that won't go now. I hope that this somehow helps the general situation and serves the fight against doping - I don't want to be slaughtered in the media for nothing."
He notes that many media outlets have known of the letter for years, and wonders why it came to light "at a time when the Tour de France and many hours of live coverage offered a perfect stage.
"My team has treated me fairly, checking the story out first and not sending me directly to stand in the corner, like so many others. Despite the fact that I won't be racing, they are continuing to pay me and have neither suspended nor fired me. But it still hurts."
He is losing the starting money he would have earned in races, but also, "I can't give good performances to recommend myself to other teams, which is very limiting, and I don't have any idea right now how it will go in the future. My stage was and is high-performance sport. The only good thing in this bad situation is that I will go on.
"Of course it was I alone who brought this situation on, who made the mistake. That is not to be questioned," he concludes. "Unfortunately, there is a lot to do to save our sport. I would like to help with that."