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Tinkoff would like to sign Ullrich, but......

Italian team Tinkoff Credit System would like to sign Jan Ullrich - if only they could. "He must first free himself of the doping charges stemming from the investigations in Spain," directeur sportif Omar Piscina told German Welt magazine. "And he needs a license. He won't get one in Germany or Austria, and it looks bad in Italy, too... I don't believe that he will be able to clear up these questions in the next few months."

Piscina hasn't given hope entirely, though. "When all the problems have been cleared up next year, and he is fit, then we would give Ullrich a contract. But it just gets more difficult for him. Now winter is coming and he tends to have a problem then with his weight. All the other problems he has don't make it any easier. He is only 32 years old, that's not a problem. But it would be better for his fitness if the other problems were cleared up quickly."

Piscina meanwhile denied that his team had offered the German rider a salary of 3.8 million Euro a year. "Nonsense, this figure was made up by a crazy journalist. Ullrich has never earned that much and we hadn't even thought of it.

"Oleg Tinkov and I both consider him to be a great champion, we are big fans of his. His career shouldn't be allowed to end this way," Piscina added.

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