July 20, 2007
Rasmussen off Danish national team, will boycott Tour of Denmark
Current Tour de France race leader Michael Rasmussen has been dropped from Denmark's national team, which will keep him from competing at the World Championships in Stuttgart.
It will likely also stop him from competing in the Danish national mountain bike championships in August, and keeping him out of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, where Rasmussen had discussed racing a mountain bike.
Rasmussen apparently didn't report his whereabouts before two random drug tests that were to be conducted May 8 and June 28. The UCI then warned Rasmussen that a third no-show “would be considered as a positive test.”
Rasmussen talked to Danish reporters: “I have tried to give my explanations to the DCU but they haven't accepted them,” he said. “But this isn't something that will interfere with my participation in the Tour de France.”
Tour race director Christian Prudhomme sided with Rasmussen:
“Some questions seem legitimate to me. Why now since the warning dates back to June 29? Why did Mr Worre wait until July 19 with Rasmussen in the yellow jersey to give elements he had at his disposal since June 28,” he said.
“Why has he not talked before the start of the Tour de France, why issue a statement late yesterday? Why speak yesterday about competitions that will take place in September and next year?”
Prudhomme also mentioned that Rasmussen was cleared to race at the Danish national championships June 30th, and was tested both there, and several times during the Tour.
Rasmussen said he won't participate in August's Tour of Denmark:
“I cannot take part in a race arranged by an organization which looks to thwart me in this way,” he said.
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