Ex-cycling star talks about doping and his crash

Dhe is a former professional cyclist Jan Ullrich has admitted mistakes in dealing with his doping past and talked about his alcohol and drug excesses after his career. “Back in Mallorca, I wasn’t far from death,” says 49-year-old Ullrich Interview with “Stern” with a view to parties in his finca: “Wine became whiskey. First one bottle a day, later up to two. It was just numbing.”

During this time, his finca developed into a “party place”: “a magnet for shady guys. At some point someone brought cocaine. Combined with the whiskey, it’s an explosive mixture.” In the end, the crash followed – “it couldn’t get any deeper than that”.

His former rival Lance Armstrong also helped him return to a regular life: “Lance was a great help to me, a loyal friend, someone who understood how I felt in my dark hours, because he knew a lot of what what I went through, experienced myself.” Armstrong traveled to the clinic in Germany to see him.

“I blamed myself”

On dealing with his doping past, he said: “From today’s perspective, I should have spoken. It would have been very hard for a short moment, but after that life would have been easier.” He always lacked the strength to say “I doped”. Even in the most recent interview, Ullrich only speaks indirectly about taking banned substances or methods.

He avoids the question of when he started doping: “When I joined Team Telekom in 1995, I initially thought I had to train even harder because everyone else was so strong,” says Ullrich: “It’s my fault looking for me. But I learned pretty quickly that doping was widespread.” Without helping, the widespread perception at the time was that it would be like coming to a shootout armed with a knife. On the organization of doping in the team TelekomUllrich, who was the only German to win the Tour de France in 1997, was not asked in the interview about what was going on at the time or who was behind it.

Ullrich recently gave the impression that he was doing better. He shared posts on Instagram that show him on a racing bike. The interview appears shortly before further planned publications about Ullrich. A documentary entitled “Jan Ullrich – The Hunted” has been announced for November 28th on the streaming service “Amazon Prime Video”. Unlike in an ARD film, Ullrich can also be heard. In the teaser he announces: “Now it’s time to tell my story. The whole story.” His autobiography “The Border Crosser” is scheduled to appear on December 1st.

The post first appeared on www.faz.net

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