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The mood in Montpellier blackened this morning as the media scrum that descended on Michael Rasmussen threatened to make the Tour de France a farce.

Yesterday the Danish cycling federation announced that Rasmussen would not be eligible for selection for the World Championships or Olympic Games because he had missed out-of-competition dope tests and failed to inform the testing authorities where he would be when he was training in Mexico.

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Sports journalist Lionel Birnie has written professionally for Sunday Times, Procycling and of course Cycling Weekly. He is also an author, publisher, and co-founder of The Cycling Podcast. His first experience covering the Tour de France came in 1999, and he has presented The Cycling Podcast with Richard Moore and Daniel Friebe since 2013. He founded Peloton Publishing in 2010 and has ghostwritten and published the autobiography of Sean Kelly, as well as a number of other sports icons.