Movement in T-Mobile TdF 2006 doping investigation?

German anti-doping crusader Werner Franke has filed charges against the riders on the T-Mobile 2006 Tour de France Team, as well as the team's Sport Director at that time, Olaf Ludwig. According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung, he has filed against "up to six" riders who were on the team's roster, claiming that they travelled to the Freiburg University Clinic for blood-doping. Meanwhile, investigators are allegedly threatening Patrik Sinkewitz with jail if he doesn't name the other riders who they claim were involved in blood-doping.

Franke told the newspaper that he is charging the riders with illegal doping, and Ludwig with deception and conspiracy to deceive. After Jan Ullrich and Oscar Sevilla were removed from the team the day before the Tour started, T-Mobile started the race with seven riders: Andreas Klöden, Giuseppe Guerini, Serguei Gonchar, Matthias Kessler, Michael Rogers and Patrik Sinkewitz. Sinkewitz has admitted to going to the Freiburg University Clinic on the Tour's opening weekend for blood-doping, and it has been alleged that some of his team-mates also went.

Meanwhile, Sinkewitz is facing additional problems. German investigators say he knows which of his former T-Mobile team-mates doped and if he doesn't name those people, he may be looking a stay in jail, Spiegel magazine reported.

While the 27 year-old had gone into extensive detail about his blood-doping experiences at the Freiburg University Clinic, he has consistently refused to say whether any of his team-mates were also involved. According to Spiegel, the Bundeskriminalamt (federal police) in Wiesbaden and the prosecutor in Freiburg "have evidence" that other riders were involved.

In order to get the names, the investigators are allegedly preparing to interrogate Sinkewitz, under oath and in the presence of a judge. If he were later proved to have committed perjury, he could be jailed. In addition, the judge would have the option of ordering Sinkewitz held in custody under charges of withholding evidence, until he was prepared to talk, the magazine says.

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