Ullrich can hold on to Olympic gold medal

Jan Ullrich (T-Mobile) salutes from the podium

Jan Ullrich (T-Mobile) salutes from the podium (Image credit: AFP Photo)

Jan Ullrich will continue to hold on to his gold and silver medals from the 2000 Sydney Olympics. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) says it lacks sufficient evidence to take action against the former German professional on suspicion of doping.

“The investigation is closed,” said IOC Communications director Mark Adam, according to the SID news agency. “It can only be re-opened one time, if there is new evidence against him. But that looks unlikely.”

Ullrich won the men's road race in Sydney, ahead of Team Telekom teammates Alexander Vinokourov and Andreas Klöden. He also claimed the silver medal in the men's individual time trial at the same Olympics.

In 2006, Ullrich was named as a suspected patient of Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes in the Operación Puerto doping affair, which led to his retirement in February 2007.

“Right now we can't do anything. The case is on ice,” Denis Oswald, a senior member of the IOC board and director of the IOC's disciplinary committee for this month's Vancouver winter Olympics, told the dpa press agency.

The IOC has studied the files of prosecutors in Bonn, Germany, who have investigated Ullrich's alleged involvement in doping, as well as those of both the Freiburg University Clinic investigation and Operación Puerto. However, the IOC has admitted that none of these cases include evidence applicable to the period around the 2000 Olympics.

IOC Vice President Thomas Bach of Germany said that there was no new evidence in the files from German prosecutors. “They don't address the question of what happened in 2000. We still don't know whether the Spaniards have additional files. They don't seem to want to give anything out.”

“We will surely know more one day,” Oswald said. “Most likely something will come from Spain.” He indicated that this could cause the IOC to look into the matter again.

In 2006, Bonn prosecutors had opened an investigation against Ullrich in which he was alleged to have visited Madrid, Spain, for treatments by Fuentes on 24 occasions between 2003 and 2006.

“Our investigations over 21 months have shown: Ullrich doped,” prosecutor Fred Apostel said in April 2008. Earlier that year Ullrich paid a fine of 250,000 euros to close the investigation.

Ullrich has consistently denied the doping charges.

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