Former professional cyclist Jan Ullrich said on Sunday that he is surprised at the reaction to his admission that he had made use of blood doping.

The 1997 Tour de France winner told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper that he is disappointed that his revelations, made available ahead of publication in a German news magazine, have caused such a strong reaction.

“Especially now, a week before the Tour de France, the German drivers, who can challenge for stage wins, should be the centre of attention. Basically I only repeated with different words what I have said earlier and for which I was convicted,” the German said.

In the interview in Focus magazine the 39-year-old admitted that he was a client of Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes and had received Fuentes-treatments.

However, he denied cheating. “Nearly everybody took performance enhancing substances at the time. I took nothing that the others did not take,” Ullrich told the magazine.

“For me, cheating only starts if I gain an advantage from it. That was not the case. I just wanted to level the playing fields.” Ullrich, who has since retired, received a two-year suspension for his involvement with the Fuentes scandal last year. It was back-dated to August 22, 2011.

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