Cycling

Former Tour de France Winner Jan Ullrich Admits to Blood Doping

PARIS - JULY 24:  Jan Ullrich of Germany riding for the T-Mobile cycling team shares a laugh with Oscar Sevilla during the team parade after Stage 21 of the 92nd Tour de France between Corbeille-Essones and the Champs Elysees July 24, 2005 on the Champs Elysees in Paris, France.  (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Robert Laberge/Getty Images
Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IJune 22, 2013

The Tour de France has once again been tainted by the admission of a performance-enhancing champion. Jan Ullrich, winner of the 1997 Tour de France, has admitted to having received blood-doping treatment during his career, according to an interview with German magazine Focus, via BBC.com.

The treatments were reportedly done by Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes, and Ullrich admitted that he couldn't remember how many times Fuentes treated him over the course of his career.

In the interview in which he admitted to receiving illegal treatment, Ullrich conceded that he made mistakes, but he defended himself as well, claiming that he "did not harm or defraud anyone."

Ullrich went on to say that he wasn't the only one doping during his time. He said he wanted to "ensure equality of opportunities" and that "almost everyone" was receiving performance-enhancing treatment.

The 39-year-old retired from the sport in 2007, 10 years after becoming the first German cyclist to win the Tour de France. Ullrich also earned gold and silver medals at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. 

A year ago, the Court of Arbitration for Sport handed down a two-year ban to Ullrich for blood doping. 

According to BBC.com, Fuentes was found guilty this past April of supplying blood transfusions to multiple cyclists. A police raid on Fuentes turned up samples of Ullrich's blood.

Ullrich's troubling but hardly shocking admission comes just a week before the start of the 2013 Tour de France, which is set to begin on Saturday, June 29 in Porto-Vecchio.

 

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