Jan Ullrich says recent hospitalisation related to 'severe blood poisoning', not addiction relapse

The German was admitted to hospital in Mexico a couple of weeks ago, with reports suggesting he had relapsed in his drug and alcohol addiction

Jan Ullrich relapse
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Jan Ullrich has revealed that his recent hospitalisation was due to a blood clot and blood poising, as opposed to a relapse into alcohol addiction as reported. 

In mid-December, German newspaper Bild reported Ullrich had been in Cuba celebrating his birthday with friends, but during his journey home, which involved a layover in Mexico, he was admitted to hospital. 

Ullrich had reportedly been admitted for a relapse into drug and alcohol addiction, but he has since denied these reports. The German revealed the reason for his hospitalisation to Bild, making clear the initial reports were false. 

He said: "I had a thrombosis and very severe blood poisoning. I escaped death again.

"To dispel all speculation: At the start of the treatment, I had a drug test done - and of course it was negative."

The German, who is now back in Europe receiving further treatment, also discussed his continual struggle with back problems, which he claims have caused him to shrink. 

“Three or four intervertebral discs have completely collapsed in the meantime. I'm only 1.81 meters now, I used to be 1.83 meters," he added.

The 48-year-old also highlighted the support Lance Armstrong offered him during his spell in hospital in Mexico, thanking the American for helping him during his multiple visits.

“He was the first person who came to see me in the hospital. He helped me a lot. I want to thank him for that," said Ullrich.

The pair are good friends, with Ullrich appearing on Armstrong's podcast The Move in late September 2021. The German claimed his drug and alcohol addiction almost caused him to suffer the same fate as Marco Pantani did in 2004, which gives reason as to why Bild initially reported he had been admitted to hospital due to a relapse.

In the podcast, Ullrich 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."