Former top cyclist Jan Ullrich used doping during his career. The 49-year-old German admitted this on Wednesday at the presentation of his documentary Jan Ullrich-The Hunted in Munich.
“I used doping. That has already become clear in the documentary. I was guilty and now I feel guilty too,” said Ullrich. “I can say with hand on my heart that I didn’t want to cheat anyone. I didn’t want to get ahead of other riders.”
According to Ullrich, the conditions in the peloton were different then than they are now. “It was a different time. Cycling had a system then and I ended up in that. For me it was important to start the races with equal opportunities.”
Ullrich was suspended for two years during his career due to doping. He was involved in the Operación Puerto doping scandal involving doctor Eufemanio Fuentes. After that suspension, Ullrich did not return to the peloton.
Ullrich won the Tour de France in 1997. He also finished second in the 1996, 1998, 2000, 2001 and 2003 editions. Ullrich regularly dueled with Lance Armstrong, who previously confessed to his doping use. The American therefore lost his seven Tour victories.
‘Wasn’t far from death’
On Tuesday, Ullrich was in an interview with the German magazine Stern already open about the struggle with his doping past. “My lawyers advised me to remain silent. I followed their advice, but suffered the consequences for a long time.”
“In 2006 I couldn’t speak because I didn’t want to betray anyone and drag myself down. It was difficult to remain silent for so many years. My past weighed heavily on my soul.”
Ullrich also talked about his alcohol and cocaine use after his career, as well as the car accident he caused while under the influence of alcohol. “I wasn’t far from death. It’s a mystery how I survived.”
The post first appeared on www.nu.nl