Give seven Tour de France titles back to Lance Armstrong suggests Jan Ullrich

Due to prevalence of doping, American should have his titles reinstated

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The Independent Online

Lance Armstrong should have his seven Tour de France victories reinstated owing to the prevalence of doping at the time, according to former cyclist Jan Ullrich.

Ullrich, who won the Tour in 1997, finished second to Armstrong on three occasions but the German declined to stake a claim for his former rival's stripped titles.

"I would give Armstrong the Tour victories back... that's how it was back then," Ullrich told Sport Bild magazine. "It doesn't help anyone to draw a line through the winners' list. I only want victories that I've experienced on the bike." Ullrich admitted in June to receiving blood treatments from Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes, on the grounds that everyone else was doing the same and that he wanted "an equal opportunity".

He was stripped of third place in the 2005 Tour and banned for two years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in February last year for doping offences. Last month, a French inquiry uncovered proof Ullrich used EPO when he finished second to 1998 Tour champion Marco Pantani, who also used the banned blood-booster. Pantani died from a drug overdose in 2004.

Meanwhile, Mark Cavendish is to be reunited with his favoured lead-out man after Omega Pharma-QuickStep announced the signing of Australian Mark Renshaw. Renshaw piloted Cavendish at HTC-Highroad from 2009 to 2011. The Belgian squad have also recruited Colombian climber Rigoberto Uran from Team Sky. Both riders have signed two-year deals.