Jan Ullrich thinks that his former rival Lance Armstrong can win the Tour de France again. but says that he himself has no plans for a come back.
"I think it is possible that he can win again in France," the retired German cyclist told the dpa press agency. "He has a great life and great women, but it doesn't fulfil him. He finds his fulfillment in sport. If he meets the challenge mentally, then his body will also meet it."
The German, who retired from the sport after falling under intense scrutiny over Operación Puerto, said that he would not consider making a return of his own. "This option doesn't exist," said the 34-year-old. "I stopped under different circumstances than Lance. I have experienced too many unfair things."
Ullrich was heavily pursued by the German investigators who sought to prove that he was involved in the scandal. He repeatedly denied being involved, and ultimately settled the case with a fine while escaping any legal or sporting sanctions.
Ullrich also said that he supported Armstrong's decision not to let his doping samples from 1999 be re-tested. "Why should he do something he doesn't have to do? I wouldn't do it either, it is a matter of principle."
Ullrich is appearing in two races in Germany this weekend, the "Charity Bike Cup" on Friday in Weil der Stadt and Steffen Wesemann's farewell race Saturday in Wolmirstadt.
Cyclingnews' recent coverage of Lance Armstrong's comeback
January 18, 2009 - Armstrong announces start of Catlin's drug testing programme
January 8, 2009 - Armstrong impresses Carmichael prior to Tour Down Under
January 7, 2009 - Armstrong believes Team Astana can dominate Tour
December 10, 2008 - Merckx: Armstrong's return good for cycling and Giro
December 8, 2008 - Armstrong climbs Teide
December 6, 2008 - Rast on life with Armstrong
December 5, 2008 - Armstrong considers Tour of Ireland
December 5, 2008 - Armstrong: Contador is the best
December 4, 2008 - Horner unites with Armstrong despite past differences
December 3, 2008 - Armstrong and Contador ride separate paths towards Tour
December 2, 2008 - Armstrong surfs with Astana
December 2, 2008 - Armstrong plans to race Tour
December 1, 2008 - Armstrong's anti-doping testing program pending
November 23, 2008 - Media out of love with Armstrong?
November 22, 2008 - Andreu caught up in Armstrong fight again
November 19, 2008 - Armstrong concerned about Tour safety
November 17, 2008 - Armstrong to meet with ASO
November 9, 2008 - Armstrong racing in Texas again
November 7, 2008 - Exclusive Armstrong wind tunnel video
November 7, 2008 - Lance Armstrong speaks at Web 2.0 conference
November 6, 2008 - Carmichael dials in Armstrong's comeback training
November 5, 2008 - Armstrong looking for balance
November 5, 2008 - Photos from Armstrong's wind tunnel test
November 3, 2008 - Armstrong doubles up and heads to wind tunnel