Now a commentator for Eurosport France, he admits that he did indeed dope during the infamous race but says that fans can believe in current cycling stars like Chris Froome.
In his own words:
"You have to take responsibility for your own actions. I have always said that for many years whether it was to young riders, journalists or my employers.
Tour de France
Tests show Pantani and Ullrich used EPO during 1998 Tour
24/07/2013 AT 09:01
Anyway, I don’t think anybody is fooled by the revelations that most of the peloton doped in 1998. The press, supporters, spectators and racers know the difference between current and traditional practices regarding EPO.
But of course, I can understand why the general public may be confused between what happened in 1998 and what is happening now.
The next generation must not pay the price for our crap. Today I am not thinking of myself, but of them. My career is in the past.
Now I'm thinking of the kid that could be a breakout star during the Tour who has to listen to people say: 'You're drugged up like all the others.'
I think of somebody like Thibaut Pinot, who finished 10th in the Tour at age 22, or a Romain Bardet who finished 15th at the same age.
I don't want these cyclists to be discredited just because everyone from my generation was full of bullshit.
Our sport is much cleaner now, I want people to understand that.
At the time we the riders could hear the alarm bells sounding. We all agreed that our samples could be retained for a time when there was enhanced research regarding the detection of EPO.
In the late 90s the peloton was a shooting gallery. Everybody was doping and nobody knew how to get out.
Why do you dope? When you want to live your passion but despite working like a madman you are streets behind the competition when clean you analyse the situation. You want to live your passion, you want to succeed in the Tour de France, so you take the plunge.
I hope that the naming of all of us who doped in 1998 brings through new doping reforms.
Otherwise these statements will have no effect other than to discredit our sport."
Tour de France
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Tour de France
Tests show Pantani and Ullrich used EPO during 1998 Tour
24/07/2013 AT 09:01