T-Mobile team director fired for links to doctor


LORIENT, France -- The director of the T-Mobile cycling team
has been fired because of suspected links to a Spanish doctor
accused of doping.

The T-Mobile team had already suspended sporting director Rudy
Pevenage and riders Jan Ullrich and Oscar Sevilla after they
allegedly had contact with Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes, who is accused of
being at the center of a blood-doping ring. Fuentes has been
charged in Spain with crimes against public health.

Pevenage was an employee of T-Mobile manager Olaf Ludwig, not of
the team itself, spokesman Christian Frommert.

He said Pevenage was fired Saturday "because Olaf thought the
proof, evidence, that he is guilty is quite clear.

"He [Pevenage] had contacts with Fuentes. He told us that he
had no contacts with Fuentes, and so he lied to all of us,"
Frommert added.

Ullrich won the 1997 Tour de France and was a five-time
runner-up. With Lance Armstrong's retirement, the German rider had
been considered one of the favorites for this year's race before he
was sent home before the Tour began on July 1.