Jan Ullrich: I don’t have a drink problem
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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Jan Ullrich: I don’t have a drink problem

by Conal Andrews at 8:41 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Doping
 
Former Tour winner denies German media claims, says is feeling improved

Jan UllrichTwelve days after announcing that he was withdrawing from public life due to burnout syndrome, Jan Ullrich has broken his silence to deny reports in the German media that he is an alcoholic.

The 1997 Tour de France winner wrote a note to his fans on his webpage, saying that the claims were bogus.

“Dear fans, as you know I am currently in treatment due to burnout illness,” he stated on www.janullrich.de. “Actually I didn’t want to comment any further and to withdraw from the public for a while. Unfortunately, however, I am haunted by wild speculation in the media, to which I must briefly refer.

“I would like to make very clear that I do not suffer from a drink problem. Such allegations and corresponding insinuations are absolutely not true.”

Burnout syndrome is a severe stress caused by work-related physical or mental trauma. Ullrich has been under pressure since May 2006 when he was linked to the Operación Puerto raids, and missed that year’s Tour as a result. He never raced again.

His announcement of the medical condition came immediately after a ruling against him by a German court in relation to a dispute with anti-doping campaigner Werner Franke. The Hamburg state court dismissed a suit by the rider, who was trying to stop Franke from making claims that he had paid €35,000 to Fuentes for doping. Ullrich previously denied doping under oath.

The 36 year old said in his most recent statement that his sensations have improved and cycling helps him. “I am, under the circumstances, slowly getting better,” he wrote. “The best sign for me is that I again desire to exercise. I sit on the bike and let the wind blow on my face. That and my family have always been helpful to me.”

Ullrich won the Tour de France in 1997, having been runner up in his first attempt one year previously. He finished second a total of five times, and also won the Vuelta a España in 1999, the Olympic road race in 2000 and the world time trial championships in 1999 and 2001.

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