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Ullrich victim of burnout

Jan Ullrich has been diagnosed with a state of general fatigue due to too much work-related stress. The former professional rider informed the public on his personal website: "A few days ago, I was diagnosed with burnout, that will probably need a longer treatment. In order to ensure complete recovery, I will therefore stop all public appearances in the next few months."

After his pro career, the German has taken up organising charity rides, in which he also participated. He also launched his own range of bicycles.

Ullrich has also put much time and effort into his defense against doping allegations. Ullrich was fired from his T-Mobile Team in 2006 due to his alleged link to Eufemiano Fuentes, the doctor in the centre of Operación Puerto. A criminal investigation in Germany has established that the 1997 Tour de France winner consulted with Fuentes 24 times between 2003 and 2006 - and this was recently confirmed by his former sports director and mentor, Rudy Pevenage - but Ullrich has always maintained his innocence.

On Friday, Ullrich also lost an appeal in front of a Hamburg court. It ruled against him, giving reason to German anti-doping expert Werner Franke, whom Ullrich had sued for defamation. Franke had alleged that Ullrich paid Fuentes at least 35,000 Euro during his professional career.

Other court cases involving Ullrich are still ongoing.