Jan Ullrich has been taken to hospital, following a reported relapse into alcohol addiction.
The 48-year-old was reported by the newspaper Bild to have been in Cuba, celebrating his birthday with friends. It is reported that he was admitted to hospital following a layover in Mexico, en route home, and was later transferred to a Swiss clinic for therapy.
In late September of this year, Ullrich appeared on Lance Armstrong's podcast The Move where he said that he almost suffered the same fate as Marco Pantani due to his issues with drugs and alcohol.
In the podcast he said: "Three years ago I had big problems and then you came to see me. I was so glad you came and yes, I was just like Marco Pantani. Almost dead. And then I recover and I have good friends, now I am very happy."
Ullrich had recovered from his addiction and was living with his new girlfriend on the Spanish island of Mallorca where he rode his longest rider since Milan-San Remo 1997 on October 24, 2021.
Armstrong posted to Instagram when he released the podcast saying: "Impossible to put into words what it means to me (and to millions of others) to see this man BACK and HEALTHY! So proud of you champ and just know that I love you deeply and will ALWAYS have your back."
It was also reported that Armstrong visited Ullrich in Mexico to encourage his former rival, before he was transferred to Switzerland to continue therapy.
Ullrich had faced assault charges back in 2018 and wasn't allowed to see his children after splitting with his wife, but on Armstrong's podcast he said that cycling, drinking water and a healthy diet was saving him adding "I hang-out with friends. Love my children. My family. I had forgotten all that. That was my problem."
The German former rider was the runner-up at the Tour three times, all behind Armstrong between 2000 and 2003 and third in 2005 but that was removed after it was discovered he was doping. As were all seven titles won by Armstrong.
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