|Retired former Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich has been found guilty of doping in relation to a blood-doping scandal that engulfed his sport six years ago and has been banned for two years, the Court of Arbitration for Sport said on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012. (REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier/Files)
LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND - Another former Tour de France champion was slapped with a two-year suspension for doping on Thursday, as 1997 winner Jan Ullrich was given the same penalty as Alberto Contador earlier this week.
Contador, a three-time champion of cycling's most prestigious event, was hit with a two-year ban on Monday and had his 2010 Tour de France title stripped after the Court of Arbitration for Sport found him guilty of a doping offence.
On Thursday, it was Ullrich's turn to hear from the CAS.
The 38-year-old German retired in 2007, but his results from May 1, 2005 until his retirement are annulled. That would include his third-place finish at the 2005 Tour de France and 2006 Tour de Suisse title.
The CAS decision stems from his involvement with Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes, a doctor who was found to have run a doping program after Spanish authorities concluded a two-year investigation in 2006.
Ullrich previously served a six-month suspension from the International Cycling Union (UCI) in 2002 after testing positive for amphetamines.
The UCI had asked for a lifetime suspension, but the CAS declined because the amphetamines Ullrich ingested came out of competition and rules have been reclassified since, making it an anti-doping violation only if testing positive during competition.
Therefore, the CAS ruled, the first violation would no longer be viable and the latest transgression would instead constitute Ullrich's first violation.
Despite Ullrich's retirement, his period of ineligibility starts retroactive to August 22, 2011, the date of his CAS hearing.
Ullrich was also a five-time Tour de France runner-up, including second-place finishes to Lance Armstrong in 2000, 2001 and 2003.