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 // 8 months ago