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August 10, 2018
Photography by Kristof Ramon
Arrested last week after he trespassed on the property of his neighbour in Mallorca and reportedly issued threats, Jan Ullrich is in more hot water. According to German newspaper Der Spiegel, the 1997 Tour de France winner is in custody after allegedly attacking a prostitute.
The incident is said to have occurred in the Villa Kennedy luxury hotel in Frankfurt, where a woman working as an escort was assaulted. According to a spokeswoman for the prosecutor, Ullrich had an argument with the woman, then choked her.
She reportedly told the hotel staff about the matter, with the staff then in turn calling the police. Ullrich’s lawyer has declined to comment on the matter. According to Faz.net, he was under the influence of alcohol and drugs; the woman received medical treatment after the assault.
Last Friday Ullrich was arrested in Mallorca after what a police spokeswoman described as ‘forceful entry and threats.’ The dispute was over a party German actor and film director Til Schweiger held to celebrate the release of his new film, Honey in the Head. Ullrich was not invited to the gathering, and reportedly climbed over the fence.
Following his release, Ullrich said that his marriage had broken down and that he had not seen his children since Christmas. He said that this put him ‘into the deepest despair,’ and that he had been abusing drink and drugs. He said he was awaiting a place on a rehabilitation programme. A video released by VIP.de shows him behaving erratically, and also smoking four cigarettes at the same time.
Ullrich is the only German rider to win the Tour de France, doing so 21 years ago. He also finished second overall five times, and won the Vuelta a España in 1999. He retired following the Operacion Puerto scandal.
The German has struggled at times, having previous tangles with the law. In May 2002 his driving licence was revoked due to drunk driving. The following month he had a positive blood sample for amphetamines, and lost his contract with Team Telekom. He later said that he had taken two tablets while out socialising, calling the decision ‘a stupidity.’
In May 2014 he injured two people in a car crash in Switzerland while over the alcohol limit. He was later handed a fine of 10,000 Swiss Francs and given a 21 months suspended prison sentence.
The more recent incidents further underline the need for Ullrich to receive professional help.