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Jan Ullrich, the only German winner of the Tour de France, said in an interview published on Wednesday that he was not surprised at Lance Armstrong’s downfall because he “made too many enemies”.
“Normally I don’t wish bad things on people, including Armstrong,” the rider, who was himself convicted of doping violations last February and stripped of his career results back to 2005, was quoted as saying by Sport-Bild.
“But I’ve always said that Lance wouldn’t get out of it. He made too many enemies,” the controversial winner of the 1997 Tour added.
“He always wanted to be the boss and behaved ruthlessly with his subordinates,” the 39-year-old went on, adding that the US rider had done “enormous harm” to cycling, particularly in Germany.
Despite his sanction for doping, imposed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, Ullrich has refused to follow the Texan’s example and break the code of silence on his drug use.
The US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) last year published a devastating report, accusing Armstrong of orchestrating the biggest doping programme in the history of sport.
He was later banned from cycling for life and stripped of his record seven Tour de France wins.
He admitted in a television interview aired in January that those victories were fuelled by a cocktail of banned drugs.