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Swiss not impressed by Ullrich's defense

by Susan Westemeyer

Jan Ullrich may claim that documents produced in Operation Puerto have been falsified, and he may have turned in his Swiss cycling license in protest - but Swiss Cycling isn't impressed. Director Lorenz Schläfli noted that an "immediate withdrawal" is not only not necessary, but not possible, since a license runs through the end of the year, according to the Neue Züricher Zeitung.

If Ullrich has dropped out of the Swiss federation in the hopes of avoiding a hearing, he miscalculated, said Bernhard Welten, of the federation's antidoping committee. Under the UCI's rules, the responsibility belongs to the land from which the rider held a licenses at the time of the alleged violation . "That is, and remains, Switzerland," according to Welten. He hopes to forward the dossier to the disciplinary committee before the end of the year.

In addition, Welten says he knows nothing of falsified documents or documents that he is not allowed to use. No one has told him "officially" that he cannot use the information, he told the newspaper. He added that it is practically impossible to forbid him from using knowledge he already has. Welten further indicated that the material would not serve to acquit Ullrich, and it is likely that the Swiss disciplinary committee will be asked to hand down a lifelong ban for Ullrich as a repeat offender.

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Laura Weislo has been with Cyclingnews since 2006 after making a switch from a career in science. As Deputy Editor, she coordinates coverage for North American events and global news. A former elite-level road racer who dabbled in cyclo-cross and track, Laura has a passion for all three disciplines. When not working she likes to go camping and explore lesser traveled roads, paths and gravel tracks.