Under-fire Ullrich gets Armstrong’s support

August 17, 2013

BERLIN: Jan Ullrich has received support from former rival Lance Armstrong after Germany’s only Tour de France winner admitted doping with the help of Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes.

Ullrich, the 1997 Tour de France winner, told Monday’s edition of newspaper Focus that he was part of Fuentes’ doping network, but insisted he had used no other doping substance other than his own blood.

Having drawn sharp criticism from the cycling community after his confession, Ullrich received some support from his old rival Armstrong, who also admitted to doping in January.

“Jan Ullrich? Warm hearted. Amazing athlete. Great competitor. Loved toeing the line with you, my friend,” tweeted Armstrong on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).

Ullrich, who retired in 2007, finished second to Armstrong three times on the Tour de France with both riders having their records erased from the history books for doping.

The US Anti-Doping Agency (Usada) last year published a devastating report, accusing Armstrong of orchestrating the biggest doping programme in the history of sport.

He was later banned from cycling for life and stripped of his record seven Tour de France wins.

He admitted in a television interview aired in January that those victories were fuelled by a cocktail of banned drugs.