By Susan Westemeyer
Jörg Jaksche has made his doping confession, and currently serves his suspension but continues to train in the hope of finding a contract to race again next season. But the former Liberty Seguros and Astana rider is not finding much positive response from the three German ProTour teams, according to the German news magazine Stern.
"Give him a contract?" asked Gerolsteiner's Hans-Michael Holczer. "I don't even need to mention that around the team. No one there is satisfied with what he said," he added, referring to Jaksche's revelations about doping in the sport. In addition, the two have a history which would make future cooperation rather difficult. "In 2003, Jaksche agreed to sign with me and then didn't keep his word. I could have lost my own job because of that," Holczer said.
Jaksche once had good contacts with Team Milram, but that was much earlier in the year. He had discussions with the team's former business manager, now the new team manager, Gerry van Gerwen, before he made his confessions. At the time, Jaksche was strongly associated with Eufemiano Fuentes. "He wanted to come to our team," Van Gerwen said. "I said, first when we can be sure that you didn't dope, then we can talk."
In the light of Jaksche's admission, contract negotiations may now have become obsolete. "Before, a good Catholic would have received absolution," Van Gerwen said. "But today, cycling has to rid itself of doping sinners."
Jaksche rode for Team Telekom in 1999 and 2000, and has indicated that he would like to return to the new T-Mobile Team. Manager Bob Stapleton was the only team manager not to entirely rule out signing him, but his statement that in principle, "the door is always open for anyone who wants to change cycling. That includes Jaksche," is apparently more theoretical than practical. Team spokesman Stefan Wagner told the magazine that the team had "no talks with Jaksche at this time."