Jan Ullrich has clarified that he has not asked German Chancellor Angela Merkel to meet with him or help him. "I myself have not asked the Chancellor for a meeting, nor have I asked anyone else to do that for me," he said on his website, janullrich.de.
It was reported earlier that Michael Stehle, head of the firm Terra-S, had requested the meeting, even inviting the Chancellor to Ullrich's house in Switzerland. The Chancellor's office said that no such meeting would take place.
Ullrich said that Stehle wrote to Merkel of his own accord. "He thought that he could help me that way. All of this occurred without my knowledge and approval. I myself never was interested in speaking to the Chancellor about my case or asking her for help."
He got in a dig at the politician, though. "I find the Chancellor's reaction to Herr Stehle's request weak, with all respect and the knowledge that the Chancellor has much more important things to do," he said.
In a press release which appeared on the Terra-S website, Thursday, Stehle attacked Merkel, saying that her "refusal to meet with Herr Jan Ullrich, as Germany's most successful cyclist, gives the public the impression of an adverse attitude towards him." According to Sport-Bild, the press release was removed from the website after only 20 minutes.