Klopp voices sympathy for Armstrong
Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp has voiced sympathy for disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong, saying: "There are worse crimes than what Armstrong has done."
Armstrong, who won the Tour de France more times than any other rider, confessed that his seven victories between 1999 and 2005 had been achieved with the aid of performance-enhancing drugs and blood transfusions.
The American has been widely condemned, but Klopp spoke in his defence, telling Sport Bild: "I have sympathy for Lance Armstrong, even if that is not the order of the day. I don't believe you are born a cheat. Many have cheated in sport - some more, some less.
"But we, who want to see the cyclist flying up to Alpe D'Huez, are to blame for it. We have condoned that there is something odd there.
"He has to be punished - but with fair measures. If he commits suicide later, we must all ask ourselves: 'What have we done?' There are worse crimes than what Armstrong has done."
The interview has generated an interested reaction in Germany, with Bild writing the coach had made "surprising statements" and other commentators saying he had "his own perspective".
Kevin Prince-Boateng, who used to play for Klopp, tweeted: "Respect for Jurgen Klopp's interview about Lance Armstrong."