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by Shane Stokes
August 4, 2018
Photography by Cor Vos
Former Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich faces questioning by a Spanish judge after being arrested on Friday in Mallorca. According to AFP, the 1997 Tour winner was detained after what a police spokeswoman said was ‘forceful entry and threats.’
The agency quoted Spanish media as saying the neighbour was German actor and film director Til Schweiger; police did not confirm this was the case.
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the dispute was over a party Schweiger held to celebrate the release of his new film, Honey in the Head. It stars Nick Nolte and Matt Dillon, with the screenplay by JoJo Moyes, the creator of the hit Me Before You novel and movie.
Ullrich was not invited to the gathering, and reportedly climbed over the fence.
“I was at the police station for five hours,” Schweiger told Bild. “I can confirm that there was an incident with my neighbour Jan. This is not how I had imagined my holiday.” An eyewitness said that that Ullrich had been barred in previous days from the property after what they described as ‘strange’ behaviour.
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, and later admitted doping during his career.
Ullrich previously had 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 In May 2002 his driving licence was revoked due to drunk driving.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.
He was due to be questioned by a Spanish judge on Saturday. He has been living in Mallorca in recent years, and spoke about his life on the island in this CyclingTips interview.