German rider Jaksche expected to speak to WADA, justice officials

Updated: June 29, 2007, 1:00 PM ET
Associated Press

FRANKFURT, Germany -- A German rider linked to the Spanish blood-doping scandal is expected to speak to WADA and cycling's governing body about doping.

Joerg Jaksche, who was suspended by his team -- Tinkoff Credit Systems -- in May for suspected involvement in Operation Puerto, will first speak to German news magazine Spiegel, lawyer Michael Lehner said Friday.

He will later make himself available to the World Anti-Doping Agency, the UCI and justice officials, purportedly as a witness. Lehner did not say when Jaksche would testify.

Jaksche's intention to speak out comes after a recent spate of doping admissions from several former top riders for Telekom in the 1990s, including 1996 Tour de France winner Bjarne Riis.

Jaksche and American teammate Tyler Hamilton were excluded from the Giro d'Italia earlier this year following pressure to ban riders implicated in the Spanish doping scandal. They were on a list of cyclists who allegedly had contact with Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes, who is accused of running a blood-doping clinic in Madrid.

Hamilton, the 2004 Olympic road race champion, recently returned to competition after serving a two-year ban for blood doping.

The scandal broke in May 2006 when Spanish authorities seized about 100 bags of frozen blood in the Madrid offices of Fuentes. The investigation implicated 58 cyclists and led to five arrests, but a judge ruled that Spain's doping laws couldn't be applied retroactively and threw out the case.

However, the UCI continued to pursue the matter and recently received 1,000 pages of files from the investigation. It expects another 5,000 pages within the next few weeks.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press