By Susan Westemeyer
Jan Ullrich, his advisors and his attorneys "look as if they are playing for time," said German sports attorney Michael Lehner in Sport Bild magazine. Lehner is representing German anti-doping activist Werner Franke in a suit against Ullrich.
Ullrich provided a DNA sample last week to German investigators who are investigating him for fraud. His DNA is to be compared to that found in bags of blood taken into custody during Operación Puerto. "The Ullrich camp seems to have adopted a new tactic," Lehner said. "They are doing now what they should have done months ago. It is still unclear whether they will try to hinder a comparison by some other means."
However, the comparison cannot be done until the German investigators receive the blood from the Spanish investigators. "The blood has still not arrived," said Bonn prosecutor Monika Nostadt-Ziegenberg. "That is a sensitive product which you can't simply drop in the mail."
Meanwhile, it appears that Ullrich has given up hope of starting in the Giro d'Italia this year, even if he should find a team. "The time for preparations would be too short," his manager Wolfgang Strohband said. He added that he could imagine Ullrich starting in smaller stage races and that the World Championships in Stuttgart remain an option.