The confessions continue. Dane Michael Rasmussen is the latest rider to come clean about their past doping. Rasmussen admitted on Thursday to 12 years of doping between 1998 and 2010, which includes the 2007 Tour de France from which he was ejected for lying about his whereabouts.

The former Rabobank rider admitted using a range of banned substances and techniques to improve his performance, including EPO, cortisone, hormones and blood transfusions. He has announced that he is retiring from professional cycling.

According to Anti Doping Denmark, Rasmussen took part in a series of interviews conducted in Copenhagen and Amsterdam, and involving the Netherlands’ anti-doping agency, US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Director of Anti Doping Denmark Lone Hansen said in a statement: “… It is my opinion that Michael Rasmussen, during interrogations, has responded honestly to our questions and contributed actively to shed light on the doping practices in the sport.” The statement went on to call Rasmussen’s co-operation a ‘groundbreaking collaboration’.

Rasmussen has said that he will make himself available for further interviews if required, and he now faces a suspension from competition for a minimum of two years, expected to be reduced from eight due to his co-operation with authorities.

Rasmussen’s cycling career started in mountain biking where he won the 1999 cross-country World Championship title – the year after he says that he started doping.

He then moved to road cycling in 2002 with CSC, managed by former Danish professional Bjarne Riis. He won a stage of the Vuelta a Espana in 2003 with Rabobank, and then finished 14th in the following year’s Tour de France. In 2006, Rasmusen clinched the Tour’s King of the Mountains title.

In 2007 it started to go wrong for the Dane. He was forced to withdraw from the Tour de France whilst in the yellow jersey after it was discovered that he lied about his whereabouts to anti-doping authorities. He had said that he was in Mexico training, but was spotted by Italian television commentator Davide Cassani in Italy during the period in question.

Rasmussen was dismissed by Rabobank but continued to protest his innocence despite receiving a two-year suspension. On his return from suspension in 2009, Rasmussen has ridden for a succession of minor teams and is currently signed to the Christina Watches squad.

Rabobank withdrew it sponsorship of the Netherlands-based WorldTour team in October, citing the scandal surrounding the USADA doping report on Lance Armstrong and US Postal as the reason.

Related links

July 2008: Rasmussen – Two year ban remains in force

July 2008: Rasmussen suspended for two years for missed dope tests

May 2008: Rasmussen takes Rabobank to court

July 2007: Rasmussen out of Tour

July 2007: Rasmussen under pressure after missed dope tests

  • adam

    Frankly, I’m gobsmacked it’s taken this long to make the press. In 2006 when the first bust of Operation Puerto happened, they said immediately that there were bags associated with other sports… and then it just got stood on. As many have said, it seems federations/organising bodies would rather keep their heads in the sand (to be kind) or cover it all up so they can keep raking in the money (to be accurate).
    I’m sick of defending cycling amongst friends who follow football and pretend their sport is clean. Such a joke!

  • John Westwell

    Roginoz has hinted that the authorities in other sports collude in keeping drug abuse in their own sports under wraps. In the current trial of Dr Fuentes and his associates linked to the Operacion Puerto investigation. Fuentes himself said that about 100 bags of blood belonged to footballers, tennis players and athletes, yet only cyclist are being called to testify. Why are the respective federations of these sports not attempting to find how who this blood belonged to? It isn’t rocket science, just think of a tennis player who dominated world tennis in 2006, or a football team that won the champions league final!

  • Grant


    Your comments surrounding cancer comparisons are vulgar. If you have been around people who are dear to you that have been treated for this disease you would have thought twice about what is a very glib remark at best.

    A comparison of a dope cheat with someone trying to defeat cancer is uncalled for…its an insult to anyone who has ever fought for their life instead of trying to ruin it by pumping synthetic crap into their veins to cheat nature.

  • roginoz

    Stuart,surely the substances of yesteryear were more stimulant-based ,i.e. to keep them going during long races.EPO and other practices now are a totally different matter.They enhance natural ability big-time hence all this furore.Also there are big implications for future health which these people ignore. Perhaps teams and each rider should list ALL supplements used , from fish oil up so there can be NO doubts. We must also keep telling people how RIGOROUS cycling has become compared to other sports. Here , Aussie rules Football Authorities are desperately trying to avoid stringent drug testing ..why?….because it is rife and again, sport is big business. A huge part of pro cycling is sponsor pressure yet we need them yo survive.

  • Ken Evans

    Never mind doping, MR should have put more effort into not crashing. His Tour time-trial with all those crashes was amazing ! Has he got a book to sell too ?

  • Dave

    Doping will be an unwelcome factor until drug cheats are banned for life and made to return prize money and earnings. That should sort most of it!

  • Stewart

    Its so upsetting that these cheats are allowed to stay in our sport. I have looked back over the TDF from the early 60s to present day,DRUG USE all the way through! The governing body evertime promised to clean up the sport, but simply did nothing. I raced in Belguim in 1969/70 and saw first hand what went on. Even one of our top riders at the time laughed at the so called “clean Tour” after Simpson died. Also the Austrailian team that rode the ToB at that time bragged that they had used and avoided test, saying testing was a joke! I hope that the cheats will not prosper with book deals admitting their guilt, I for one will not buy them. They should have their Pro licence revoked and not allowed to race professionally again. If lawyers, doctors and the like lie, cheat and take money under false pretence the are struck off and cannot carry on in their professions, whats different with these cheats!!!!

  • John

    The picture is hardly a advertisement for doping. He looks like he is in a cancer treatment clinic during radiotherapy.

  • Gianni Ponzi

    Weren’t there questions about him during his MTB days as well ??

  • Colnago dave

    Another one with links to Bjarne when at CSC and yet Saxo Bank still gets a licence, more brown envelopes to someone ?