X-Technology's questionnaire about its "sponsor partnership" with Jan Ullrich was an attempt to find out what people honestly think about the retired German rider, and not an attempt to find out whether the company should keep him on, it claimed today. Yesterday, it sent a questionnaire to "some 20,000 addresses" concerning its association with Ullrich and containing such questions as "I would buy 'Jan Ullrich' products," or "I would purposely not buy a product, because it is a 'Jan Ullrich' brand product."
"There is no way at all, that the questionnaire puts the partnership in question or that the sponsor is 'plagued by doubts,'" the company claimed today on its website, x-bionic.com. "We do not understand why the media is calling for a witch-hunt of Jan Ullrich and condemns our decisions, in that they make claims that are not entirely right. It gives the impression that Jan Ullrich is to be 'sacrificed' and his economic foundation pulled away."