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Ullrich may lose Olympic medals

Ullrich in 2005

Ullrich in 2005 (Image credit: John Pierce)

International Olympic Committee head Jacques Rogge said Saturday that Jan Ullrich could be stripped of his Olympic gold and silver medals from the Games in 2000 because of the admitted doping within the Telekom team. The IOC announced earlier this week that it was forming a disciplinary committee to investigate possible anti-doping violations in the Olympic games. "The IOC will investigate the revelations that have been made by the riders from Telekom, because several of them took part in the Olympic Games," Rogge said, according to the Belgian newspaper Le Soir.

Ullrich took gold in the men's Olympic road race in Sydney and stood on a podium that contained two of his then Telekom team-mates, Andreas Klöden and Alexander Vinokourov, who took the silver and bronze medals. The team's doctors, Lothar Heinrich and Andreas Schmid, admitted that they provided banned substances including EPO to the team in the 1990's.

In addition, another doctor from the same University of Freiburg clinic in Germany in which Heinrich and Schmid worked, admitted supplying drugs to amateur cyclists. Dr. Georg Huber, who also worked with the German Olympic team, acknowledged he gave cyclists testosterone between 1980 and 1990 according to the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung. Huber has been suspended by German cycling authorities and the University of Freiburg.

While there is no admission or evidence that these doctors gave banned substances to the Germans for the Sydney Olympics, it is something the IOC is investigating, Rogge said. "We will look into the admissions of the doctors from the University of Freiburg. Our aim is to find out the periods in which doping was going on."

The investigation also throws under suspicion the medals of Klöden and Vinokourov, both of whom are currently racing for the Astana team. Rogge was asked if these medals could also be taken away, to which he replied, "Of course, it remains a possibility."

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