By Brecht Decaluwé
Jan Ullrich has won a small court battle against former Team Telekom soigneur Jef D'Hont, forcing the Belgian to stop speaking publicly about the performance enhancing drugs he allegedly gave the 1997 Tour de France winner. According to German magazine Focus, D'Hont's lawyer Dimitri de Decker said his client would explore all legal avenues in fighting the decision.
D'Hont dropped a bomb on the peloton back in April by writing a book called 'Memoirs of a cycling soigneur'. In the book he described an organised doping programme within Team Telekom (now T-Mobile) during the 1990s, and following the book's publication many former Telekom riders admitted to using doping during their stay with the team.
Shortly after the confessions from Bjare Riis, Erik Zabel and various others, D'Hont claimed that Ullrich also used various illegal substances and said he was disappointed the German wasn't prepared to speak out about it.
In the book D'Hont - also the former soigneur for Freddy Maertens, Michel Pollentier, Etienne De Wilde, Evgueni Berzin, Erik Zabel and Bjarne Riis - unveiled many secrets of the peloton, crushing the long preserved cycling omerta. The detailed descriptions of how amphetamines, cortisone, testosterone and EPO were used, together with the techniques to avoid getting caught, forced many riders to confess back in April.
Ullrich said he would talk about the subject when Germany was ready for it, while Bjarne Riis wasn't spared in the book with quotes such as, "Jef, come have a look, I've got 64." Referring to a happy Riis who managed to elevate his hematocrit level to 64.
Meanwhile Ullrich was spared somewhat by D'Hont who acknowledged that he liked the German more than Riis. "Riis thought he was a general, he felt he could do what he wanted while ordering everybody else. If I'm honest I like Ullrich more than Riis," wrote D'Hont.