Ullrich Deserves Second Chance, says Kittel
Düsseldorf, Germany, June 29, 2017 (AFP) – German sprinter Marcel Kittel on Thursday joined disgraced former cyclist Lance Armstrong in blasting Tour de France organisers over their Jan Ullrich snub.
Ullrich is the only German to have won the Tour, back in 1997, although he later admitted to having doped during his career. On Wednesday, Armstrong, who was stripped of his seven Tour titles for
doping, blasted organisers ASO for double standards for “rolling out the red carpet” for other known dopers yet not inviting Ullrich to Saturday’s start in Dusseldorf, Germany.
“From a human point of view it’s a great shame for Jan Ullrich,” said
Kittel, a winner of nine Tour stages. “I can imagine that it’s incredibly difficult for him. Everyone deserves a second chance.”
Ullrich, who also won Olympic gold in Sydney in 2000, long denied doping but was excluded from the 2006 Tour de France over his links to the Operation Puerto drug scandal and doping doctor Eufemiano Fuentes. He finally came clean in 2013 about his sordid past but by then it was too late, he had become a pariah in German cycling, particularly amongst the media. Last month he resigned as sports director of a professional race in Cologne due to negative media reaction, just three days after his appointment.