Jan Ullrich, the only German winner of the Tour de France, has for the first time admitted to blood doping, with the help of Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes who ran a large-scale doping network.
Ullrich, who rose to prominence in cycling when he won gold and silver medals at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, said he was motivated by the desire to be competing on a level playing field with his main rivals.
Ullrich says you can only call it cheating if he gained an advantage.
Ullrich's doping admission comes months after a similar public pronouncement by his greatest rival and nemesis Lance Armstrong.
Ullrich was barred from the Tour de France in 2006 amid speculation he had used illegal substances.
He retired from cycling in February, 2007, denying he had ever cheated.
He was later found guilty of a doping offence by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in February, 2012 and was retrospectively banned from August that year with all results gained since May,
2005 wiped from his slate.