Berlin, Germany (4E Sports) – Former Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich admitted that he took performance-enhancing drugs but insisted that he never once cheated as a cyclist.
“Almost everybody back then took performance-enhancing substances,” he told German magazine Focus. “I didn’t take anything which the others were not taking.”
“For me, betrayal only begins when I gain an advantage, but that was not the case. I just wanted to ensure equal opportunities,” added Ullrich, who won the Tour de France in 1997 and captured gold and silver medals at the 2000 Olympics.
The 39-year-old Ullrich, who retired in 2007, was banned for two years in February 2012 by the Court of Arbitration for Sport for blood doping. Also, All of Ullrich’s results since May 2005 have been removed.
Ullrich revealed he was treated by Eufemiano Fuentes, the doctor at the center of a doping scandal in Spain. Fuentes was found guilty in April 2013 of playing a role in supplying blood transfusions to professional cyclists.
Ullrich’s admission came after Lance Armstrong admitted that he used performance-enhancing drugs during all seven of his Tour de France wins.
“We are both guilty,” said Ullrich, “I am no better than Armstrong, but no worse either.
“The great heroes of old are now people with failings that we’ve got to come to terms with.”
“I always knew that even Lance Armstrong would not get away with it,” he added.
However, German Olympic Sports Confederation president Thomas Bach said Ullrich’s admission came too late.
“Jan Ullrich had his chance for a creditable admission a couple of years ago and he missed it,” Bach said. “Today’s confirmation of some of the already well-known and established facts does not help Jan Ullrich nor cycling.”