Jan Ullrich on doping in the 1990s: "The perception was that without assistance it was like going to a gunfight with a knife"

Amazon Prime will release the documentary about Jan Ullrich next week and the 1997 Tour de France winner has given an interview to Stern magazine in which he talked about the doping in cycling that he experienced.

The German rider confesses in declarations collected by AS that from the beginning he realized that in order to be able to compete he had to be part of doping: "I learned very early on that doping was rampant. I was taught that I was good, with great talent, that I trained with great dedication and that I had all the necessary skills. But I was told that if I wanted to stay there, I had to participate."

The former German Telekom team rider who was Lance Armstrong's main rival in most of the Tour de France he won and was subsequently dispossessed argues that you couldn't fight to win races without doping: "The general perception at the time was that, without any help, it would be like going into a gunfight armed only with a knife. The general attitude was: if you don't do that, how are you going to survive in a race? Then you go in the peloton and you know you're probably one of the ones with nothing, and so you have zero chance," he continued, explaining.

Jan confesses that perhaps he should have told everything a long time ago, but gives his reasons for keeping quiet at the time and not talking until now about the doping practices in which he was involved:

"From today's perspective, I should have spoken up. It would have been very hard for a brief moment, but then life would have been easier. I didn't want to tell half-truths, let alone the whole truth. Their livelihoods, families, friends depended on it. The lawyers told me, 'Either you come out and tear it all down, or you don't say anything at all."

Article written by Juan Larra.

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Cycling Jan Ullrich Doping

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