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Pevenage confirms Ullrich-Fuentes meetings

Former Jan Ullrich mentor Rudy Pevenage has confirmed meetings between the retired rider and Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes, according to the German news magazine Focus. Bonn, Germany, prosecutor Fred Apostel confirmed Pevenage's statements to the magazine.

Pevenage was questioned by the German Bundeskriminalamt (federal police) last month, and Focus reported that the Belgian said that he made multiple trips with Ullrich to Fuentes in Madrid. However, he clamed that Ullrich and Fuentes only developed health and training plans, and that he was not present at their conversations. According to the report, the prosecutors do not believe these claims.

The magazine further said that prosecutors are prepared to settle their investigation of Pevenage if he pays a fine in settlement, similar to the way the case against Ullrich was settled last April. The amount that Pevenage, who claims to be nearly broke, has not been settled.

Last week Ullrich testified in Düsseldorf, Germany, in another matter, that he had no contact with Fuentes between January 1 and March 30, 2003. Focus did not say what time period of contact Pevenage's statements covered. (SW)