Ullrich and Sevilla miss team's deadline

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Are Jan Ullrich and Oscar Sevilla on their way out of the T-Mobile Team permanently? It's beginning to look that way. On Saturday morning, sports communication director Christian Frommert said that the two riders have missed the deadline to prove their innocence in the Operation Puerto affair.

Ullrich and Sevilla have "not met the request of the sponsor and the team management to provide their innocence," the team announced Saturday. The deadline, which was given to them upon their suspension June 30, "already expired on Thursday."

"Now it's in the hands of the attorneys to consider what steps to take next. This is a very difficult situation," Frommert said, and noted that he is confident to have an announcement "by the end of the Tour."

The team suspended Ullrich and Sevilla before the start of the Tour after both were named in the Spanish doping scandal involving Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes. Directeur Sportif and Ullrich mentor Rudy Pevenage was fired over his involvement.

Both riders "assured us before they left Strasbourg on June 30 that they wanted to prove their innocence," Frommert said. This has not yet happened.

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