Former Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich said Lance Armstrong should have his seven titles reinstated because "that's how it was back then," according to a report from the Associated Press citing this week's edition of Germany's Sport Bild magazine.
Armstrong, who had his seven Tour de France titles stripped in 2012 after the United States Anti-Doping Agency found him guilty of taking performance enhancing drugs, said in a June interview with French publication Le Monde that it's "impossible to win [the Tour de France] without doping," and admitted to doping in an interview with Oprah Winfrey in January.
The 39-year-old Ullrich, who won the Tour in 1997 and finished second to Armstrong in 2000, 2001 and 2003, said it doesn't do any good to distinguish between the winners of the race:
"I would give Armstrong the Tour victories back. ... That's how it was back then. It doesn't help anyone to draw a line through the winners' list."Ullrich admitted in June that he had accepted blood treatments from a Spanish doctor during his racing career. He was stripped of his third-place finish in the 2005 Tour and banned for two years in February 2012.