Rasmussen doping ban upheld

Court rejects Danish rider’s appeal

The world's top sports court has upheld a two year doping ban on Danish cyclist Michael Rasmussen that will run until late July 2009.

The Court of Arbitration of Sport said in a statement on Thursday that it had rejected the former Rabobank's rider's appeal against the ban imposed following an incident on the 2007 Tour de France. Rasmussen's team threw off him out of the race while he was wearing the leader's yellow jersey, because he was repeatedly accused of giving misleading comments on his whereabouts for out-of-competition testing.

The two-year ban, retroactively dated to July 26, 2007, was imposed last June on Rasmussen by the Monaco Cycling Federation where he was under licence.

The CAS panel of experts "confirmed that two year suspension was the appropriate sanction in Mr Rasmussen's case."

The incident rocked cycling's flagship race and the Dane later admitted he had lied over his whereabouts - having insisted he was in Mexico when anti-doping controllers failed to find him in Europe to carry out random tests.

The CAS said he had violated the international cycling federation's (ICU) rules by effectively prevented the Danish anti-doping agency from making a control at his home in April 2007. He was also late in transmitting information on his whereabouts in June

2007 and "voluntarily transmitted erroneous information" that prevented another doping control the same month, the panel added.

UCI president Pat McQuaid said after the incident that he didn't think Rasmussen "has any place in cycling."

© AFP 2009

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