The organisers of the Tour de France have decided not to block Jan Ullrich's participation in this year's race. Spanish newspaper El Pais has linked Ullrich to the Operation Puerto doping scandal, but the accusation is too tenuous for Tour organiser ASO to ask Ullrich to withdraw.
"For the Tour de France, for now, there is no problem with Ullrich," Tour spokesman Philippe Sudres told the Associated Press. El Pais had implicated Ullrich on the basis of a collection of code names allegedly used by Dr Eufemiano Fuentes to identify athletes. The paper speculated that the athlete identified as 'Hijo Rudicio', or 'son of Rudicio' was Ullrich, based on Ullrich's close relationship with long-time mentor Rudy Pevenage.
However, Sudres pointed out that Ullrich, "has not been formally identified" by police investigating the case. The code names listed by El Pais were too vague to identify Ullrich with certainty, he added.
Ullrich has strongly denied any involvement in the Spanish affair.
April 2, 2009 - Valverde indignant over possible suspension
April 1, 2009 - Valverde: Italy requests two-year suspension
March 13, 2009 - Le Monde newspaper hit with fine over Puerto allegations
March 2, 2009 - WADA president Fahey asks for Puerto evidence
February 24, 2009 - Spanish federation seeks access to Puerto blood bags
February 20, 2009 - CONI considers Valverde case while UCI awaits verdict
February 19, 2009 - Valverde under criminal investigation
February 11, 2009 - Valverde summonsed for Operación Puerto in Italy
February 8, 2009 - Eight charged in Operación Puerto