Jan Ullrich's spiral out of control took a new twist Friday as he was arrested for assaulting an "escort girl" just before starting detox.
The 44-year-old - who won the Tour back in 1997 - allegedly had a dispute with a female sex worker at a hotel. and the incident turned physical. Mr Ullrich said he was only trying to talk to his neighbour.
Ullrich had allegedly called on the services of a prostitute at the five-star Villa Kennedy Hotel in Frankfurt, Bild daily reported.
After spending the night with this woman, the only German victor of the Tour de France hit her and strangled her, authorities said. Lerch said no further details could be given on her condition while police were investigating.
Ullrich told Germany's Bild newspaper in an interview this week that he had marriage problems and was emotionally stressed after his wife had made a decision to separate. He said he had not seen his three sons since Easter.
"I've done and taken things that I very much regret", Ullrich told Bild, adding: "Out of love for my children, I'm doing therapy now".
He is the only German cyclist to win the Tour de France, and he also won a gold medal in the road race and a silver in the time trial at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. "I took nothing that the others didn't also take", Ullrich told German magazine Focus.
But he was then embroiled in doping allegations and excluded from the 2006 Tour de France over his links to the Operation Puerto scandal that centred on disgraced doctor Eufemiano Fuentes, who gave performance-enhancing blood transfusions to top cyclists.
Ullrich served a two-year ban for doping in 2012, five years after he retired in 2007.
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