By Susan Westemeyer
"Ullrich is moving to Austria," trumpeted a headline at Sportbild.de Thursday evening. "The sensation is complete!" The German will announce Monday at his press conference that he would be joining the Austrian Professional Continental Team Volksbank -- although they weren't sure whether as a rider or as a Directeur Sportif.
The Sportbild article is full of optimistic quotes from Volksbank Team Manager Thomas Kofler, but he subsequently denied the whole thing to the dpa press agency. Kofler admitted that it would fulfill a "childhood dream" to hire Ullrich, but that he "absolutely denied" a contract with him. "We are just one of many teams that have talked to him," Kofler said, and admitted that he found it "very, very difficult" to imagine signing Ullrich.
Meanwhile, Ullrich's legal story took yet another unexpected turn -- apparently. Sueddeutsche.de reported Thursday night that at the same time that Ullrich voluntarily gave a DNA sample to German authorities, his attorneys were in Spain trying to prevent Spanish authorities from turning over to German investigators bags allegedly containing his blood.
In addition, the newspaper claimed that the German investigators were discussing the possibility of opening a process against Fuentes on the grounds of assisting in a fraud.