Jan Ullrich, who won the 1997 Tour de France, admitted to doping for the first time in an interview with a German magazine.
Ullrich was, for a time, Lance Armstrong’s chief rival in the Tour de France field, suspended in advance of the 2006 Tour amid blood doping allegations. This is the first time he’s publicly admitted as much, and it highlights an interesting question as pertains to the Lance Armstrong saga: is it possible that Armstrong would have won so often as a clean rider, were he playing in a clean field? A cursory glance at the history of doping in the tour’s top finishers since Armstrong’s winning streak began lays bare the reality — he was cheating, but still dominating an elite field absolutely rife with other cheaters. Whether his natural ability could’ve maintained that edge against a doping-free competition, sadly, we’ll never know.
15:42 // 1 year ago
Lance Armstrong, who this fall was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles for doping and barred for life from competing in all Olympic sports, has told associates and antidoping officials that he is considering publicly admitting that he used banned performance-enhancing drugs and blood transfusions during his cycling career, according to several people with direct knowledge of the situation. He would do this, the people said, because he wants to persuade antidoping officials to restore his eligibility so he can resume his athletic career.
For more than a decade, Armstrong has vehemently denied ever doping, even after antidoping officials laid out their case against him in October in hundreds of pages of eyewitness testimony from teammates, e-mail correspondence, financial records and laboratory analyses.
When asked if Armstrong might admit to doping, Tim Herman, Armstrong’s longtime lawyer, said: “I do not know about that. I suppose anything is possible, for sure. Right now, that’s really not on the table.”
The danger for Armstrong is that the admission could put him in legal jeopardy. As one of his sponsors was the U.S. Postal Service, he and other members of his team are being sued for defrauding the federal government by lying about doping. Armstrong had a particularly tough 2012 filled with allegations and at great personal cost to his legacy — and his year ended with him leaving the board of his Livestrong charity entirely.
22:04 // 1 year ago