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German who was last year banned as a result of Operacion Puerto links rejects calls to admit to doping

Jan Ullrich, Lance Armstrong’s greatest rival during the seven editions of the Tour de France that the American won between 1999 and 2005, insists that he will not be following the former US Postal rider’s lead in making a public confession to doping.

Armstrong, last year banned from sport for life and stripped of results including those seven Tour victories, admitted to chat show host Oprah Winfrey on Thursday that he had won those maillots jaunes with the assistance of banned substances including EPO.

However, Ullrich, speaking to the news magazine Focus, maintained: "I will certainly not follow Armstrong's path and speak before an audience of millions, even though some may be demanding that or even expect me to do so," reports the website Supersport.com.

The German won the Tour de France in 1997 and finished second overall on five other occasions, three times as runner-up to Armstrong.

Tour organisers ASO have decided not to reassign the victories in the races from which Armstrong has been disqualified, instead leaving the winner’s name blank.

Ullrich, who retired in 2007, himself received two-year ban from the Court of Arbitration for Sport in February last year and was stripped of results dating back to 1 May 2005, including his third-place finish behind Armstrong in that year’s Tour.

Those disciplinary proceedings resulted from the 39-year-old German’s links to Operacion Puerto, although Ullrich himself has only ever admitted to consulting with Eufemiano Fuentes, the Spanish doctor at the centre of that scandal, rather than actually using banned drugs.

Fuentes and six others, including former ONCE and Liberty Seguros team manager Manolo Saiz, are due to go on trial next week in Madrid in connection with Operacion Puerto.

The trial, at which cyclists including Alberto Contador are expected to appear as witnesses, is due to last until March.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

7 comments

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Gkam84 [9088 posts] 3 years ago
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So Oprah won't be getting a series out of this then?

Gutted, I wanted to see a pro/ex pro every week  19

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kitkat [382 posts] 3 years ago
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I think there were two different doping strategies going on. Armstrong was about performance. Ullrich was about maximising time in the disco while losing weight as quickly as possible.

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Leviathan [2127 posts] 3 years ago
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At least we know one guy that LA could beat.

Henning Wehn could do the interview.

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Simmo72 [609 posts] 3 years ago
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How about appearing on the German equivalent of the Jeremy Kyle show - 'EPO and Sausage, a love story'

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ubercurmudgeon [169 posts] 3 years ago
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This just reminds me of how inept and gullible (if not actively deceitful) Liggett and Sherwin were in the early-to-mid 2000s. All that stuff about it being a contest between a man who "danced on the pedals" versus a "big diesel engine" was pure drivel. It was a contest between a cunning bully and a fat German pastry-eater. Surely the broadcasters have got to find new commentators for 2013. But I suspect those two have a stranglehold on the Anglophone rights to ASO events.

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mr-andrew [300 posts] 3 years ago
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I'm probably going to get lynched... But... The excitement of watching those 2 battle it out was intense. Even if everyone was doped to the gills, did it make it any less exhilarating to watch? Unfair on the others without a doubt, bit great non-the-less.

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Pitstone Peddler [104 posts] 3 years ago
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ubercurmudgeon wrote:

This just reminds me of how inept and gullible (if not actively deceitful) Liggett and Sherwin were in the early-to-mid 2000s. All that stuff about it being a contest between a man who "danced on the pedals" versus a "big diesel engine" was pure drivel. It was a contest between a cunning bully and a fat German pastry-eater. Surely the broadcasters have got to find new commentators for 2013. But I suspect those two have a stranglehold on the Anglophone rights to ASO events.

Absolutely, Liggett and Sherwin have to go. In fairness, they must have sold a few cassettes and chain rings along the way as we all scrambled to hit 150rpm up 20% climbs a la Lance