Ullrich visited doctor Fuentes 24 times

Jan Ullrich (T-Mobile) salutes from the podium

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

Former Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich visited Doctor Eufemiano Fuentes in Madrid 24 times from 2003 to 2006, according to the German news magazine Spiegel. The visits are said to have been organised by Rudy Pevenage, former Team T-Mobile director, and the evidence for them was found on his computer.

Pevenage, considered to be Ullrich's mentor when the German was racing, told German investigators that the visits were aimed at helping Ullrich's weight problems and that he had no knowledge of any blood doping that may have taken place.

Investigators from the German Bundeskriminalamt (BKA, federal police) seized a computer from Pevenage and were able to recover material that had been deleted from the hard disc.

The records showed that Ullrich flew secretly to Madrid eight times between February 2005 and May 2006, and that Pevenage himself flew to Madrid 15 times between December 2003 and April 2006.

"Ullrich used the doping system of the Spanish doctor Dr. Fuentes in order to use performance-enhancing products and methods to prepare himself for competitions, in defiance of his contract," the BKA report concluded. Ullrich did not comment on the charges.

When questioned by the BKA, Pevenage said that Ullrich and Fuentes met "about five or six times a year." Ullrich asked him to to establish the contact because of his "weight problems" and Pevenage claimed he "had no knowledge" of any blood handlings.

Ullrich was suspended by T-Mobile Team on the eve of the 2006 Tour de France for his involvement with Fuentes, and later fired by the team. He retired in February of the following year. The BKA started its investigation of him in July 2006, and closed the investigation in March 2008 when Ullrich paid a fine of 250,000 euro.

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