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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Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!
I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.
It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.
After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.
When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.
My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.
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