After months of speculation, Michael Rasmussen has admitted that he lied about his whereabouts leading up to this year's Tour de France. The admission came at a press conference held in Hellerup outside of Copenhagen, but in the same breath he revealed that Rabobank knew all along that he wasn't in Mexico.
"First of all I would like to clearly state that I was not in Mexico in June. I have therefore misinformed both the UCI and the public. It is, however, important for me to stress that at no point did I lie to team Rabobank," said Rasmussen who explained that it was for marital and private reasons that he didn't tell the truth.
But Rasmussen denied that he had taken any banned performance enhancing substances, including EPO and DynEPO, at any point during his career.
The Dane was pulled out of the Tour de France on July 25th - while wearing the yellow jersey and having practically won the Tour - by his team Rabobank, who stated that he had not told the truth to them. Rasmussen was later fired.
But Rasmussen denies that he lied to his team. Asked who knew about him not being in Mexico, the Dane said that both team manager Theo de Rooij and leading sports director Erik Breukink knew. Rasmussen's lawyer Karoly Nemeth added that he had proof of de Rooij having this information.
"It was absurd to pull me from the race for misleading them," said Rasmussen, who apologised for lying to the public and the UCI. "You can't mislead people who have known the truth all along."
Instead of going to Mexico to train, he stayed in Italy between June 4th-19th. On June 7th he said he had a meeting with Erik Breukink in Bergamo. From June 20rd-23rd he trained in the Alps and from June 25th he went to the Pyrenees to check out some of the stages there. In the Pyrenees, a Rabobank soigneur was present at all times and Denis Menchov was also there for some of the time, Rasmussen explained.
According to his lawyer, the reason for making this information public now is that the deal made with the commission set up by Rabobank that they would give Rasmussen access to the report some days in advance will not be met. Rabobank has called a press conference on Monday in Utrecht regarding the report.
"This morning - after we had called this press conference - I was informed that we would receive the report on Monday morning. We now want to give Michael's version," said Nemeth.
Rasmussen also made public his so-called 'biological passport' - his blood values for the past three years - in order to end speculation about what went on in Italy and whether he has complied with the doping regulations.
But his highest hematocrit and hemoglobin values were recorded on July 24th, 2007, the day before he was thrown out of the Tour. This goes against the studied trend that these values will usually decrease over the course of a three week tour.
Michael Rasmussen's blood profile for 2005-2007
|30.06.2005||Tour de France||39.8||14|
|29.06.2006||Tour de France||40.4||13.7|
|05.07.2007||Tour de France||40.3||13.3|
|Source: UCI and various laboratories and hospitals|