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German TV claims '07 payments to Freiburg doctors

Doctors at the Freiburg University Clinic had individual contracts with the T-Mobile Team calling for payment of 330,000 Euro in addition to their medical-services contracts with the team, for the years 2006 and 2007, the German television sender ARD reported on Sunday. The team, now Team High Road, cancelled its connection with the doctors and the Clinic after last year's disclosures of doping services provided to team riders.

The ARD Sportschau claimed to have copies of a contract between Dr. Stefan Vogt and Neuer Strassen Sport GmbH (NSSG), the German operating firm for the team, asking for 72,000 euro. NSSG issued a statement which stated that they assumed that the doctors did not "continue their systematic doping of the T-Mobile riders in the year 2007". The firm further noted that owner and team manager Bob Stapleton "has rigorously acted against doping" and would continue to do so. However, there was no explanation of what the extra contract and payment were for.

The ARD further reported that there may have been similar contracts in 2006 between the Olaf Ludwig GmbH [the previous management firm for the team] and doctors at the Clinic. A preliminary budget plan for the firm for 2006 allegedly showed in addition to 120,000 euro to the clinic for its official medical services, extra payments of 138,000 euro. That was to be divided up as 60,000 euro to Dr. Lothar Heinrich, 25,000 euro to Dr. Andreas Schmid, 23,000 euro to Dr. Andreas Blum and 30,000 euro to Vogt.

The Clinic and the public investigators assume that these payments were for unauthorized activities, according to the Sportschau. The doctors and the Olaf Ludwig GmbH did not comment on either the contents of the contracts or the payments.