Jan Ullrich Doped!!! Holy Shit!

This entry was posted in Comments about Cycling on by .

Breaking News! Yesterday, Jan Ullrich confessed, sort of, to doping during his career. I actually think the article is going to be printed on Monday, but someone must have leaked some of the tidbits. It didn’t really say exactly when, or what races he doped for, but I have this believe, really a rule, that when someone is either caught, which Jan was, or just confesses, which Jan did, then all his results should be thrown out. So, Jan, it’s time to send those Olympic medals you won in 2000 and that Tour de France jersey for ’97 back.

Jan really didn’t seem to have much remorse. He actually denied cheating. He said he was just doing it to level the playing field. That he wasn’t doing anything more than anyone else. Here is the exact quote –

“In my view you can only call it cheating on my part when it is clear that I have gained an unfair advantage. That was not the case. All I wanted was everyone to have the same chances of winning.”

So, Jan thought that all the guys riding the Tour in 1997 had the same chances of winning, or even better, the Olympic Games, where one rider wins the road race and that was him? Equal chances? I think not.

I was hoping for more from Jan. I was thinking he was going to let it really become past before he spilled his beans. He really didn’t spill much. He just told us what we already knew. Except I would have thought, by now, the guy would have smartened up some and been a little more politically correct, even if he didn’t believe what he was saying. It’s not going to sit too well with about anyone, this little non-confession he did.

How about the 1996 Tour de France, when even the mechanics from T-Mobile could have climbed better than Miguel Indurain Larraya, who had won the previous 5 Tours.  That was a pretty equal chance of winning for all, right?

How about the 1996 Tour de France, when even the mechanics from T-Mobile could have climbed better than Miguel Indurain Larraya, who had won the previous 5 Tours. That was a pretty equal chance of winning for all, right?

His thoughts on Lance – “We are both guilty,” said Ullrich. “I am no better than Armstrong, but no worse either.” At least he has that right.

18 thoughts on “Jan Ullrich Doped!!! Holy Shit!

  1. e-RICHIE

    Let’s lay it all out once and for all – we enable this shit by watching it, supporting the sponsors, and even (sic) keeping these conversations alive when we comment. The sport has never been any different than it is now – or was in the 90s (or in the …). Why feign surprise with each news story? Do we want the sport to go away? I would love that – at least we’d have a chance to know and live life without the daily fodder it offers us so that we, in turn, can judge it and the players. Really – make it all go away atmo.

    I race and ride my bicycle for my own enjoyment. Those who do it for a paycheck, and those who pay them, and those who regulate it all can all just write a big, thick book. And then they can sell the film rights. And then they can all get dressed up and go to the opening. And be on David Letterman after that…

  2. Bernd Faust

    Jan, they call him Ulle from former east Germany is of course a “Spezi”…like Lance and Co.. Ulle admits a little bit here and there.blooddoping using his own blood. Since everybody did something, he was not cheating….they all where not cheating..strange culture..strange fellas……
    P.S. I still like bikeracing and bikeriding, but I no longer shave my legs! Ha Ha 1st step to move away from the phony pros….step2 I never took any medication or other shit to enhance my performance…ha ha…..so much we can do to keep the sport clean.

  3. Michael Smith

    Certainly would be nice to here from the few (if any) riders in the Peloton that raced during the heyday of doping, that did not dope and finished in the back of the pack accordingly. But that doesn’t interest people. There is zero honor or credibility amongst professional bicycle racers of this era. Wipe all races from the books like they deserve to be. Don’t be fooled either, the only thing that has changed is the names and types of drugs being used.

  4. RoboRacer

    I’m with E-Richie. I guess if I wanted to go further, doping was necessary. So I quit racing … But I still love riding and that has nothing to do with their results.

  5. Bernd Faust

    Richie you nailed it, but don’t stop at cycling..I want all records in all sports erased..etc……that makes all of us our own champ in our own rights in our own sport…Live is good , beer tastes great…stay thirsty my friends!

  6. Paul Willerton

    For those of us who did race in that era, and didn’t dope, no it wasn’t a “level playing field”. Ulrich needed to dope to level up with Armstrong and the others who were willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars to support their programs. For years they did it without the idea that it was leveling the field, too. They (and by saying ‘they’ I mean them, their doctors, team directors, and anyone else who aided them in cheating) did it to gain the unfair advantage.

    So no, it was not justified. If the idea was to level things up, why not just say in the early 90’s “Hey, it’s not a level playing field. There is massive drug use all around us and it’s not fair.” They did not say that – and not because they couldn’t. They didn’t say it because they were too interested in reaping the rewards of their cheating because they knew it was NOT a level playing field. They knew that come July they had been the best at cheating.

  7. e-RICHIE

    I have a question for Paul, or Steve, or anyone who claims to have raced clean, or was affected by those they say or think weren’t – or anyone who was affected by those who were later proven to have been on the dark side, or admitted to being there: Why is there no outcry or demand to get the prizes that were handed out to others that rightfully should have been yours? You cats had a your careers rearranged by folks whose results relegated you to lower class citizens, remuneration-wise. Moral values aside (and I am pleased folks claim to have them), a large – or maybe it was not so large atmo – contingent of players lost money and jobs because they stood their ground. Why not complain? Why not lawyer up? A class action suit against the sport, its governors, and even the sponsors whose moneys helped finance the charade? And, yes – I am serious.

  8. Bill K

    Now that we “got” Lance, Jan, and all those damn Dutchmen, we know that the EuroPros are racing “clean”.

    Question: We all know that the United Healthcare team is pretty damn good.
    How long would they last in the TdF before the last of them couldn’t even get out of bed, on raceday??

  9. johan bolsadesangre


    Love your site. Great work. But this article invited comment.

    There is no outcry because so many of them were doping that there is almost nobody to give the prizes to…quite the logistical problem.

    Jan and Lance are only the symbols of a problem that is/was systemic. Ok, invalidate Jan´s results. And Lance´s. What have you then? Nothing. No outcry. No other cyclists complaining because nobody can complain when nearly all were doping. Bassons could get the titles, I guess?

    Doping invalidates results, thus leveling the playing field. A little bit of testosterone or a complete doping program level the playing field because once you dope it becomes a doping arms race. In both cases, the doping artificially alters the result. Thus, both are punished. Neither keeps his results, which is why it works like this. Even if one says there is a difference of degree (which there is) it is largely irrrelevent. All doping is doping, and all doping invalidates results.

    Cycling is about doping. The history of cycling is doping, more or less. Pantani still has a monument on the Galiier for heaven´s sake, and people want to complain about Jan and Lance? I don´t care for either, but let´s at least be consistent. Either they all get monuments, or none get monuments. They all get bans, or they can all be part of cycling. But to splice and dice and era is preposterous.

    Great site. I always look forward to your commentary!

  10. johan bolsadesangre

    There is no outcry because that top level was so far away for most. Even those who races clean knew or must have known about how much doping there was. And by and large, save for Bassons and a very, very select group of others (ex dopers don´t count…), nobody raised a stink at the time, thus, in effect, making them complicit.

    There can be no lawsuit because everyone knew what was going on. Nobody in their right mind can claim to have watched Lance destroy the field the first time and not have known. Everyone who was anyone knew. All teams were in on it. The TDF knew, of course, and said nothing, for years and years. Everyone made money, and let the show go on.

    There is no logistical way to do anything. The era was well and truly spoiled, and nobody gets out alive and without suspicion. Giving one´s word that they didn´t dope is really not enough. Nobody believes anyone, and thus, the damage is complete.

    Jan´s confession is fine. He admitted. That´s all that he needed to do. Let others draw their own conclusions. Pro cycling is dying a slow death anyone (even Europeans are tuning out in record numbers, aside from a few select races). Doping will always be there, in accordance with enforcement capabilities. Human nature never changes, and doping will never change. Best to enjoy one´s bike and not try to fix the the unfixable…

  11. johan bolsadesangre


    With all due respect to you and a great career, what do you make of the following list?

    Rabobank (systematic doping)
    Postal (systematic)
    Telekom (systematic)
    Kelme (systematic)
    Festina (systematic)
    ONCE (systematic)
    Phonak (just simply clueless)
    Pantani´s teams (all doped, and Marco gets a monument on the Galibier!)

    Puerto (systematic at all levels!)

    And given that, none of those teams dominated everything?

    By level playing field, nobody is referring to the difference drugs make in one cyclist or another. They refer to the fact that ANY doping that alters the result is doping, and invalidates the result. So though it differs in degree, all doping is doping, and one upping a small doper with more dope is just getting a taste of one´s own medicine.

    We would all love your take on an issue like, say, Lance getting a life ban but Marco getting a monument on the Galibier?

    I totally agree with your last lines that all were cheating, and nobody wanted to spoil the party. Even the clean guys on the teams still reaped the benefits!


  12. e-RICHIE

    I know.

    It was a rhetorical question, even though I was and am serious. Sometimes the surprise at all this surprises me more than the news story atmo. If these cats (the clean ones, whoever they are…_ are so upset, let them get even, either in the press, in the courts, or in the parking lot after the race is over.

  13. Bernd Faust

    Matter of fact , the majority of people in any country are on some dope each and everyday..that’s why nobody cares…anymore or ever did….obesity is doping..alcohol, recreational drugs, coke, coffee….etc..all the shit you can buy online…human race is racing itself into the ground….so don’t put fingers just on cycling….everybody screws themselves etc in one way or another…..
    Life is to short to drink cheap beer…
    P.S. some cyclist need to eat real food..they look like they were just released from a hungerstrike etc….
    Mit freundlichen , radsportlichen Gruessen, Bernd

  14. Sketchy Wheel

    I get the feeling Och knows where the bodies are, ask him next time he buys you dinner

  15. Skippy

    Sitting in a bar at Nice Ferry Port , awaiting arrival of ” georgethecyclist.blogspot.com ” , we are heading for start of the 100th edition of Bullshit aka ” Le Tour “! Will get to ride with some of the racers over the next days as they await the start on Saturday .

    Christian Vdv , will be wearing that same smarmy face , that he had at the ” Giro “in Tarvisio , when i asked him how his 6mth holiday passed . Guess the people who used to big Big George H. wine at the Dauphine Libere , will put that down to experience .

    There is a guy turning up to ride the route of the TDF , claims he will be the first Amateur Rider , to ride ALL 3 Grand tours in a year ! Being an Aussie , i can accept a certain level of BS , since i rode ALL 3 in 1999 , 2001, 2003 . 2004 ( left Vuelta early as my swag was stolen & had to get back to Athens Paras ) , 2005 & 2007 . Since repeated Pulmanory Embulisms in 2011 , i am supported by a car , before it was the 2 kilo pack on the handlebars .

    Back to basics , ridden with ALL the top racers , they look a little more than ” Joe Blow the plumber ” , even Panto arriving , dead beat in Madonna di C. , friday night , within 15mins was looking like it was a stroll in the park .Oft times Lance would ride back so beat , that he would ride to the Hotel backdoor and do a 15sec disappearnce . Little did he know that time i was out riding with Sheryl , but he let me know the next morn .

    Spectators as they stand on the edge of the road , do not pay to watch the Grand Tours , even arrested the prat that tried to push Lance off the bike on L’Alpe d’Huez , 2004 ITT , but noone of the team would sign the complaint . We get FREE entertainment , only the SUCKERS give the bookies money , so who has any right to complain ?

    Brian Cookson releases his ” Manifesto today , more SSDD coming down the road , stand back folks , otherwise you will be wearing some of it !

  16. Paul Willerton


    With regard to what I think of that list, I’m not ambivalent – it’s a list of corporations that paid into organizations run by criminals. Cycling has been a sport that has attracted fierce, cunning individuals who faced with the possibility of fame or fortune had no morals. Not a big surprise, right? However to say that it was ‘everyone’ and ‘always has been’ is absolutely wrong. Forums surrounding nearly all sports have people in them using the ‘everyone’ and ‘always’ words. I know firsthand that’s not the case and if that’s what they actually believe, they have made themselves irrelevant to true sport.

    I am not a ‘fan’ of any particular athlete or sport. Fandom to me was lost long ago. That doesn’t mean that I don’t love sport for the sake of pure sport at it’s best. When I see people who follow blindly as fans, don’t care what an athlete is or does, I can’t help but see a person that has never truly pursued sport. Rather, they seek something akin to video games or theater. They will usually agree, saying that ‘athletes are entertainers and I don’t care’ and basically write it all off under that pretense. There have always been those fans and there always will be. Think of the screaming throngs in the Roman Coliseum.

    People want their sport served to them their own way, I suppose. True athletes want true sport. I believe that if you asked any athlete who has doped if they wish they had achieved what they did without drugs, they would 100% say YES. That is because they were athletes at heart, and know that it’s the only way that matters. Just having money in their bank account will not ultimately satisfy them. If they did it with drugs, they were frauds. Justifying it by saying your worst competitor was doing it too doesn’t make it any better. It’s hollow, pure and simple.

  17. Spencer

    Re: the Indurian remark. Just curious, do you think Indurian wasn’t doping that tour? I always assumed he was the grand tour rider to really took EPO use to the next level.

  18. jpete

    I notice Jan with his wrist taped. I first noticed this with Riis, then Julich while riding for Cofidis (I think). I always suspected something could be up with that. seems like a reasonable place for a transfusion, little easier than the elbow to cover track marks…


Comments are closed.