By Susan Westemeyer
German prosecutors can expect to receive Jan Ullrich's bank documents, which German investigators allege contain evidence that Ullrich paid Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes and others for doping products, from Swiss authorities this week, the Swiss newspaper Neue Züricher Zeitung has reported. The German cyclist's lawyers had tried to prevent the transfer of the documents, but a Swiss court ruled Monday morning that the handover could take place.
According to the NZZ, the documents in question are bank account statements from the Bank Credit Suisse from January 1, 2003, to June 30, 2006. The documents "will be an important mosaic stone in our investigation and expose the paths of payments to Dr. Fuentes or other persons close to him," Jörg Schindler of the Bonn prosecutors office told the press agency dpa. While waiting for the documents from Switzerland, the investigators are looking at material taken in a search of the house of Ullrich's advisor Rudy Pevenage.
Hans Ruedi Graf, the prosecutor in the Kanton Thurgau, told the Associated Press that he will now ask Ullrich's attorneys to agree to the handover of material taken in the search of Ullrich's house in September, apparently records connected with mobile and land-line telephones. If the attorneys do not agree to the move, the matter could go to court.
Ullrich responded to the statements in an interview with German television's Sat.1, saying, "I knew that someday the records would be made public. I opposed that on principle. My wife is the only one allowed to see my bank account. That's nobody else's business." Sat. 1 is the privately owned company which is broadcasting the Tour de France after the two government-supported stations ARD and ZDF stopped live coverage.
Ullrich also promised to speak out on the charges against him. "I will say something about it, when Germany is read for it. I have already written some things down and thought about it. Sometime it has to come out, otherwise I will burst."
Meanwhile, the German news magazine Spiegel reported Ullrich's case against doping crusader Dr. Werner Franke should come to trial in August. The cyclist is challenging Franke's statement that he paid Feuentes €35,000. The magazine says that Franke is said to have called Feuntes, Ivan Basso, T-Mobile Sport Director Rolf Aldag and Pevenage as witnesses.