By Susan Westemeyer
The president of the German cycling federation Rudolf Scharping has "hurt cycling" with his recent comments, said Jan Ullrich.
Scharping had said that cycling owed much to Ullrich, but that it has also been damaged by him. He also added that Ullrich would most likely never again represent Germany in the world championships or the Olympic games.
"I don't like what Scharping said," Ullrich told the German tabloid Bild. "I was always proud to wear the national jersey. I was proud to be World and Olympic champion for Germany. I believe that M. Scharping has hurt cycling with his fully unnecessary comments." He added that, "Some of my friends and cycling colleagues have lost all interest in the national team," because of the politics involved.
Ullrich was suspended and later fired by T-Mobile Team after his name came up in the Operación Puerto doping scandal. The 1997 Tour de France winner does not yet have a license or a team for the current season.
"I do not plan to apply for a license in Germany. But you must not forget that I have a right to," Ullrich noted. "There is nothing against me at this time. And that's exactly why I find it so weak when someone tries to heat up an unnecessary debate with such flimsy arguments."