Jan Ullrich, the powerful German cyclist and the man thought most likely to deprive Lance Armstrong of a record sixth Tour de France victory has apparently been banned once again from international cycling. Barred previously for taking amphetamines at a disco, Ullrich has been banned this year for implanting small solar powered engines in his knees. The engines allegedly provide additional power for pedaling.
Not yet instituted, the ban will be announced June 15, 2004; the ban will commence immediately upon announcement.
Speaking anonymously a cycling authority said he'd seen rats with artificial knees "which can outride a man. They don't get tired. As long as the sun is out they're in fine form."
Racing officials first became suspicious when they heard reports that Ullrich was moving up the L'Alpe d'Huez at sixty five kilometers an hour while smoking cigars. The L'Alpe d'Huez is considered one of the hardest rides in continental cycling.
Ullrich had apparently threatened to take the French organizers of the Tour to court but backed off when he learned that French courts are protected by metal detectors.