Tour winner paid money to Fuentes?
German prosecutors are investigating if Jan Ullrich lied under oath in an August 2006 court hearing in Hamburg, Germany. The former Tour de France winner denied he paid money to Doctor Eufemiano Fuentes, centre of doping investigation Operación Puerto.
The Hamburg prosecutor's investigation started two weeks ago "because of the suspicion of giving a false statement."
The investigation originates from a court case between Germans Ullrich and Werner Franke, an anti-doping supporter. Franke claimed that Ullrich paid Spain's Fuentes €35,000 for doping products and assistance. The court ordered Franke to stop making the statement.
During the trial, Ullrich denied under oath making any payments to Fuentes.
In May 2006, Spanish Guardia Civil seized coded blood bags during its raid on the offices of Fuentes. Related investigations led to the suspensions of cyclists Ivan Basso and Alejandro Valverde.
Team T-Mobile suspended Ullrich June 30, 2006, the day before the start of the Tour de France, because of his suspected involvement in Operación Puerto. The team later fired the 1997 Tour winner and he retired in February 2007 without racing again.
German prosecutors' DNA testing showed in April 2007 that Ullrich's blood was in some of the bags found in Fuentes' offices.
The Swiss cycling federation is also investigating Ullrich for his involvement in Operación Puerto. He has lived in Switzerland for a number of years and rode under a Swiss licence.
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