Jan Ullrich has accepted his firing from the T-Mobile Team and will not contest it further, thus losing out on potential millions of Euros. German TV channel ZDF quotes Spiegel magazine as saying Ullrich's decision was not exactly voluntary, but forced upon him by his manager, Wolfgang Strohband's, actions.
Ullrich was suspended by the team on the day before the start of the Tour de France, on suspicion of being involved in the Spanish doping scandal around doctor Eufemiano Fuentes. The team formally fired him three weeks later, on July 20. At that time, Ullrich called the firing "not acceptable." Strohband issued a statement saying calling it "ungrounded" and announcing that Ullrich would take legal action.
However, Spiegel now reports that Strohband is responsible for the fact that Ullrich will now not receive the severance payment which he and the team had allegedly already negotiated. The problem: Strohband's statement that Ullrich would never again ride for T-Mobile, that this was a "closed chapter".
According to Spiegel, this statement pulled the rug out from under the financial demands. In order to receive the payments, Ullrich would have had to offer to continue to ride for the team, while his contract did not expire until the end of the year. In other words, he would have allowed the team to buy out his contract, and he would have accepted the money instead of riding for the team. However, the statements that he would never again ride for the team negated this.
Ullrich prosecuted for fraud
Meanwhile, Chief Public Prosecutor Fred Apostel in Bonn, Germany, has confirmed to magazine Focus that he is engaged in proceedings against Ullrich for possible fraud. Former athlete Britta Bannenberg complained that Ullrich, as well as his advisor Rudy Pevenage and cyclist Oscar Sevilla had swindled the T-Mobile team and therefore breached their contracts.
"I do not want to comment on the outcome of our examinations," said Apostel, who is currently waiting for the protocols of taped phone calls from Spain, which allegedly prove the link between Ullrich and doping doctor Fuentes.