In an extract from Jan Ullrich's biography The Best There Never Was, available on GCN, the author Daniel Friebe explores how the 1997 Tour de France winner imprisoned himself in silence, but also the reasons why, and what he perhaps needed to do to break the impasse
"The release of the multi-part documentary 'The Hunted' on Amazon Prime ahead of Ullrich's 50th birthday this week marked a turning point in the 1997 Tour de France champion's life."
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"In interviews before the film premiere - just as he does in the documentary itself - Ullrich admitted, unequivocally, that he had doped for almost the entirety of his pro career, which ended in disgrace on the eve of the 2006 Tour de France, in the midst of the Operación Puerto investigation."
"Since that date, Ullrich had baffled and frustrated fans and media by refusing to come clean, while also seeming to disappear into a self-destructive vortex. His existential crisis culminated in two arrests and various stints in detox and rehab clinics in 2018 - but would ultimately also force him to finally confront his past and his demons. Happily, in the last few days, that is indeed what has happened. It is also the best gift Ullrich could have given himself for his landmark birthday."