"Rasmussen not excluded from Olympics"

"We have not ruled out Rasmussen, and the Danish Cycling Federation (DCU) were too quick to say he will not participate at the 2008 Beijing Games," Niels Nygaard told AFP.

President of the Danish Olympic committee (DIF), Niels Nygaard, confirmed on Tuesday that Tour de France race leader Michael Rasmussen has not been excluded from the 2008 Olympic Games.

"We have not ruled out Rasmussen, and the Danish Cycling Federation (DCU) were too quick to say he will not participate at the 2008 Beijing Games," Nygaard told AFP.

The Danish Cycling Union decided in June not to select Rasmussen for September's world cycling championships and the Olympic Games in 2008 because he missed out-of-competition doping tests.

Nygaard said: "The DCU was not in a position to decide on our behalf and they had not discussed the issue with us before making their announcement," adding whether or not Rasmussen was selected for the Olympics was a decision which belonged to the DIF and that it would be made this winter.

Nygaard added DIF would be meeting with the Danish Cycling Federation "in due course" but emphasised they did not have to follow their recommendations.

© AFP 2007

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