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Ullrich's lawyer describes plan for more aggressive defense

By Susan Westemeyer

Jan Ullrich's new attorney, Peter-Michael Diestel has said he won't rule out having his client provide a DNA sample. "If the investigation demands it, then we will do it," he told the Netzeitung. He hoped to establish a "constructive dialogue" with the various parties investigating the German cyclist.

Diestler's first mission is to put an end to the "ongoing injuries" to Ullrich's reputation. "Lately there have been many things said which are not true. We will react to those things." He told the press agency sid, that "We will no longer stand by and and let the reputation of one of the most prominent German athletes be destroyed without specific evidence and only by suspicions."

Diestel met with Ullrich and his manager, Wolfgang Strohband, in Zürich on Wednesday. Strohband told the sid that no decision had yet been reached about a new team or where Ullrich might seek a new license. "We are having discussions with many parties, but there is not [a] concrete result yet."

Diestel, who promised "quick legal actions," will be joined by defense attorney Johann Schwenn in defending Ullrich. The two attornies had previously worked together in defending track and field trainer Thomas Springstein, who was convicted of providing a doping substance (testosterone) to a minor (a 16-year-old female track athlete) and sentenced to 16 months probation. He became famous when two of his athtletes, sprint world champion Katrin Krabbe and European 400 meter champion Grit Breuer, were suspended for having used the drug Clenbuterol. German anti-doping crusader Werner Franke, who has involved himself in the Ullrich affair, told the Netzeitung, "Ullrich, Diestel, Springstein, they all fit together."

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