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Ullrich says he is "innocent until proven guilty"

By Susan Westemeyer

"Under our legal system, I am, like everyone else, considered innocent until proven guilty," Jan Ullrich said on Monday in his first -- and possibly last -- public statement on his implication in the Operation Puerto doping scandal. He denied that he has gone into hiding, and said that contrary to previous reports, his attorneys submitted a written position to his team within the time limit the team had set.

T-Mobile team manager Olaf Ludwig confirmed to the SID press agency that the repot had been received, however, it said only that it was not up to him to prove his innocence, and that there was no direct evidence to prove his guilt.

Christian Frommert, director of Sports Communications for T-Mobile, confirmed that the statement issued to the team by Ullrich's lawyer's did not meet the standard the team has demanded. T-Mobile had requested a written report proving Ullrich's innocence, which Ullrich had indicated two weeks ago he would submit. Frommert said that what was received was "a statement that no statement proving innocence would be submitted."

Ullrich's manager, Wolfgang Strohband, said that a further explanation "would be possible in the future," without setting a date. In his press release, Ullrich said that on the advice of his attorneys, he would not make any more public statements. Strohband also confirmed that the attorneys had advised Ullrich not to have a DNA test.

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