1997 German Tour de France winner and ewiger Zweiter (always second – five times) to high-tech secret agent drug fiend Lance Armstrong, Jan Ullrich has decided to retire from cycling while he is still behind.

Caught in a Spanish doping investigation fiddling around with performance enhancing drugs again, Ullrich was denied participation in last year’s Tour de France, shortly before the race was to begin. Although generally very good about not getting caught, he has had a few unfortunate public bouts with playing the drug victim in the past; getting his driver’s license revoked after backing into parked bicycles with his Porsche, off-season amphetamine use, claiming somebody mixed ecstasy into his drink at a nightclub etc. So now that he’s had enough and all that, he’s had enough and all that.

And like all the other doped-up, true sportsmen racers of his caliber out there, Ullrich has steadfastly denied ever having had any involvement in doping, choosing to point his finger at racing officials, ominous international conspiracies and illegal aliens from outer space instead.

“I feel like a serious criminal although I have nothing to reproach myself,” he told reporters yesterday without laughing out loud. People have made names for themselves at his cost blah blah blah and have told “100 percent lies”, or at least maybe ninety percent with a little tetrahydrogestrinone mixed in.

“I wished I had gotten more support from some people,” the silly cyclist then said as if someone still cared. “But I am not bitter.”

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