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Zabel calls for amnesty

Erik Zabel has called for an amnesty for those who confess to having doped. "I see an amnesty as the chance for cycling," he told the German magazine, Welt am Sonntag. "The International Olympic Committee, the UCI and the national federations could set a deadline, giving everyone until that date the chance to admit to doping without consequences and in the sense of overcoming the past," he said.

The German sprinter, who rides for Team Milram, showed understanding for his former teammate Jan Ullrich, who had criticized Zabel and Rolf Aldag for making their confessions in order to continue working. He noted that the principle of "Innocent until proven guilty" must apply. "Jan, Ivan Bassso, Michele Scarponi and Joerg Jaksche are so far the only ones being held responsible in Operacion Puerto. So I can understand why Jan is upset."

Zabel said that he would like to take part in the World Championship in Stuttgart, but realizes that the national federation may not feel that it can nominate him. "I know that the Bund Deutscher Radfahrer is under a lot of pressure, concerning the financing of the World's, and that the funding carries certain conditions with it," he said. "If this pressure, or the pressure on me, should become too much, or if I turn out to be problem for young riders, like Fabian Wegmann, then I would be glad to sit down and talk with the BDR management. We will be able to find a solution."

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