Jan Ullrich acknowledges he’s made doping mistakes and hopes for a second chance
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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Jan Ullrich acknowledges he’s made doping mistakes and hopes for a second chance

by Shane Stokes at 6:16 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
German wants to move on after CAS ruling and ‘years of despair and depression’

Jan UllrichThree months after the Court of Arbitration for Sport handed him a two year suspension from the sport, Jan Ullrich has acknowledged past errors and said that he hopes to be given a new start.

Ullrich’s suspension – which is largely symbolic as he last raced six years ago – came after CAS ruled that he was guilty of a doping offence. He was accused of blood doping with the help of Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes, who was exposed as a result of the Operacion Puerto investigation.

“There is no denying that various cases of doping have damaged cycling in recent years. I too have made mistakes,” Ullrich stated in his new column for Eurosport. “But I have finished with my own case, after years of despair, depression and physical problems.

“This is my way, even if this is not understood by all. However, I would ask for respect. I leave it each individual whether he or she thinks that I have earned a second chance.”

Ullrich is understood to have been under a lot of psychological pressure since the Puerto affair broke and said prior to the CAS decision that he just wanted a ruling made so that he could move on with his life.

He rode several Gran Fondo events last year and said that he had rediscovered his fascination with the sport. He said that he wanted to share his knowledge with readers via his new Eurosport slot.

“The time of hiding and retreat is over. I have received my punishment. Even if not I intend to return to professional cycling, cycling will remain the big love of my life,” he wrote.

“As a rider, I went each year around the world. I’ve seen a lot and gained a lot of experience. That’s what I want to share with you.”

Ullrich said that he planned to talk about various cycling strategies and tactics, mentioning as topics the approach to take to a queen stage of a race, how to ride a time trial and what way to best organise a sprint train.

“Cycling has lost none of its fascination. There are many young riders that should not suffer from the mistakes of the old generation. They deserve that, and we will cheer with them,” he concluded.

Ullrich won the Tour in 1997 and finished second in 1996, 1998, 2000, 2001 and 2003. He was also fourth in 2004 and third in 2005, although he lost this placing as a result of the CAS ruling in February.

His case illustrates the mental toll doping and its concealment can take. Like other riders who have chosen to speak openly about the issue, he has said that a burden lifted after he decided to do so.


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