Ullrich: the saga continues

A Spanish court has turned down a request by Jan Ullrich to prevent the transfer of blood taken...

A Spanish court has turned down a request by Jan Ullrich to prevent the transfer of blood taken during Operación Puerto to German authorities for DNA comparison, the Süddeutsche Zeitung has reported.

The paper first reported Thursday night that Jan Ullrich's attorneys had recently filed suit to block the transfer of the blood. That drew a swift response from the German cyclist's attorneys, who claimed to have filed suit last year to block any action against Ullrich by the Spanish.

Bonn, Germany, prosecuting attorney Fred Apostel told the SZ that now nothing stood in the way of a DNA comparison in the near future.

Apostel also added that the future of his investigation was not dependent on what Ullrich announced at his press conference Monday, February 26. "The Ullrich case will continue," he said.

Swiss authorities will also continue their investigation, even if Ullrich should announce his retirement. "After all, we're talking about a lifetime ban, and nobody knows whether Ullrich might make a comeback," said Bernhard Welten of the Swiss Olympic Committee, who is running the investigation. Such a ban would also include work as a team manager or directeur sportif.

The SZ further said that Swiss authorities have found documents that explicitly prove a relationship between Ullrich and Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes, a relationship which Ullrich has steadfastly denied. Apostel refused to comment on that statement, saying merely, "At some point, the things found in Switzerland will be made known."

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