Fraud charges against Ullrich?

The public prosecutor's office in Bonn, Germany, indicated to Spanish investigators that it assumes Jan Ullrich had been receiving "forbidden products" from doctor Eufemiano Fuentes since 2003, using his manager Rudy Pevenage as an intermediary, Spanish newspaper El Pais reported on Friday. It is also investigating Ullrich and Oscar Sevilla on fraud charges.

In the rogatory letter which Sebastian Trautmann of the public prosecutor's office sent to the Spanish investigators last week, he indicated that Pevenage, Ullrich's personal advisor, provided the cyclist with "medicines and substances prohibited in cycling."

Based on evidence uncovered in the Operation Puerto, Trautmann has opened investigations of not only the use of illegal substances, but also of fraud committed by Ullrich, Pevenage and Oscar Sevilla. He has asked the Spanish judge to give him access to the contents of five volumes of information concerning the investigation, and also to allow German police specialists to come to Madrid and gather samples from the bags of blood uncovered in the investigation. This would allow a DNA comparison to see if any of the blood belonged to Ullrich and/or Sevilla.

In the request, the German prosecutor claims that Ullrich received a base salary of 2,5 million Euros plus performance based bonuses, under his 2004 contract with Walter Godefroot and his 2006 contract with Olaf Ludwig. He also allegedly earned up to 1,3 million Euros making public appearances. Sevilla is claimed to have earned 1 million Euros.

According to Trautmann, Ullrich and Sevilla may have committed fraud, since he signed a commitment with T-Mobile not to use illegal substances. One of the clauses in their contracts allow the unilateral cancellation of the contract if the riders are found to have doped. According to El Pais, T-Mobile thinks that Ullrich and Sevilla have damaged its image and caused it to lose up to 6,5 million Euros.

Cyclingnews' recent coverage of 'Operación Puerto'

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

Cyclingnews' complete coverage of Operación Puerto

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