Current Tour de France leader Michael Rasmussen has been axed from the Danish national team and told he will not take part in either the world championships or the Olympics following a drugs test row, it was announced on Thursday.
The director of the Danish Cycling Union (DCU) Jesper Worre told DR1 television station that Rasmussen, 33, had received a number of warnings over failing to inform doping authorities over his training whereabouts.
“We consider this case with great seriousness and the executive of the DCU decided that Michael will no longer be part of the national team and he was informed of this on June 26,” said Worre.
“It is confidential information but people have the right to know that the DCU fights for a clean sport,” Worre added. “However, the DCU is not saying that Michael tested positive.
But there are question marks over his behaviour and attitude that place doubts over his place in the national team.”
Rasmussen, who rides for the Rabobank team, has said he had received just one warning but Worre insists there have been several notices issued.
Later Thursday, Rasmussen told the Politiken newspaper website that he considered the decision to be a bad one.
“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.”
In a move which will not help ease his relationship with his country’s governing body, Rasmussen said he will boycott the Tour of Denmark in August.
“I cannot take part in a race arranged by an organisation which looks to thwart me in this way,” he said.
Rasmussen currently leads the Tour de France after 11 stages and enjoys a 2min 35sec lead over Spain’s Alejandro Valverde.