Rasmussen Out!!! July 25, 2007Posted by dperry1ma in Christian Prudhomme, Davide Cassani, Doping, Michael Rasmussen, Rabobank, RAI, Tour de France, UCI.
Hours after he won Stage 16 of the race and nearly guaranteed himself a spot on the podium in Paris on Sunday, Rabobank has pulled Yellow Jersey Michael Rasmussen from the Tour de France, allegedly because he lied to the team about his whereabouts when he was to have been tested for out of competition doping.
UPDATE: AFP is reporting that “Tour de France race director Christian Prudhomme – who at one point had phoned UCI president Pat McQuaid to berate him over not informing organizers over Rasmussen’s missed tests – said that there was not much more he and his co-directors of the race could have done.
“We did all we could do to get rid of him,” Prudhomme told AFP.”One cannot mock the Tour de France impunitively like those riders,” he added, referring to Rasmussen, Cristian Moreni – who also exited on Wednesday after failing a drugs test – and Alexandre Vinokourov who was thrown out on Tuesday. ”
UPDATE 2: It is now being reported that not only did Rasmussen misinform his team as to his true location during the months leading up to the Tour de France, but apparently Rabobank was informed today that Rasmussen was training in Italy with an “as yet un-named doctor”, suggesting that Rabobank may know more about what he has been doing during the period in question than we yet know.
UPDATE 3: Cyclingnews reports “According to hln.be, former professional Davide Cassani, now a commentator for Italian TV station RAI, made a statement to Danish TV on Wednesday in which he claimed to have seen the Rabobank leader training in the Italian Dolomites on June 13 and 14. Rasmussen had previously declared that he was in Mexico from June 4 – 26. “When Rasmussen was confronted with this information he confirmed to [team manager] Theo de Rooy he was at that moment in Italy,” said Rabobank press officer Jacob Bergsma. “That was the reason De Rooy decided to get him out of the Tour and the team.””