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Decades later, Jan Ullrich finally confesses to doping

The German came clean before the presentation of new doc about pro cyclist

01-07-2001 Campionato Nazionale Germania; 2001, Deutsche Telekom; Ullrich, Jan; Bad Durrheim;

Former professional cyclist Jan Ullrich has finally come clean. “Yes, I doped, “ the 49-year-old admitted during a panel discussion on Wednesday evening. The unsurprising news coincided with the presentation of the documentary series Jan Ullrich–The Hunted, scheduled to be released on Amazon Prime Video on Nov. 28.

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Reflecting on his choices, Ullrich told Spiegel, “If I had shared my story earlier, I could have enjoyed many happy years. I lacked the courage. It’s liberating to finally admit it.” Despite expressing remorse, he accepted his responsibility for the actions.

Ullrich said that systematic doping was part of his Telekom team around the turn of the millennium, beginning in 1996 and escalating to autologous blood doping from 2003 onward. Contrary to seeking an unfair advantage, Ullrich asserted that his intention was to level the playing field for clean athletes in an era when doping was rampant in cycling and EPO was undetectable.

In 1997, Ullrich became the first German to win the Tour de France, and he continued to be a prominent figure in subsequent years. Despite his achievements, he remained haunted by the prevalence of doping in the sport.

“Knowing that you don’t stand a chance from the start was the most challenging aspect,” he explained. “I’ve always been fair and never sought to deceive or gain an advantage.”

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Ullrich’s association with autologous blood doping led to his exclusion from the 2006 Tour de France and suspension by Team T-Mobile due to connections with the Spanish doping doctor Eufemiano Fuentes. The abrupt end to his cycling career took a toll on both his physical and mental well-being, leading to a life crisis involving substance abuse and time in a psychiatric hospital.

However, Ullrich stated that he has overcome the lowest point in his life, emphasizing his current state of health and stability, and sobriety.