The UCI has asked for the Monaco Cycling Federation to open disciplinary proceedings against Michael Rasmussen following his missed tests and confusion about his whereabouts before the 2007 Tour de France.
The UCI want the Monaco Cycling Federation to investigate if Rasmussen broke anti-doping rules by avoiding tests. In a statement issued on Friday the UCI claims it has carried out ?an extensive and careful investigation of the circumstances the UCI also believes that Michael Rasmussen violated Rules 15.3 and 15.5 by evading controls in a premeditated manner and preventing controls being undertaken.?
Although he lives in Italy, Rasmussen raced with a Monaco licence in 2007 while riding for the Rabobank team. The skinny Danish rider won two key mountain stages of the Tour de France, took the yellow jersey and looked set for overall victory. However he was then sent home by the Rabobank team after it was revealed he had been seen training in Italy even though he had told the UCI he was in Mexico.
Rasmussen has always claimed his innocence and tried to find a team for 2008. He is currently not racing but now has a chance to defend himself in a disciplinary hearing. According to the UCI if he is convicted of an offence under the anti-doping rules he faces a two-year ban from racing.
There was no initial response from Rasmussen when the UCI released their statement.
Below is the UCI statement in full:
?Today the International Cycling Union (UCI) has asked the Monaco Cycling Federation, with whom Michael Rasmussen held a racing licence, to open disciplinary proceedings under the UCI Anti Doping Rules.?
?Michael Rasmussen has publicly acknowledged what the UCI believes to be violations of its whereabouts requirements under Rule 15.4 in the period leading up to the Tour de France 2007. After an extensive and careful investigation of the circumstances the UCI also believes that Michael Rasmussen violated Rules 15.3 and 15.5 by evading controls in a premeditated manner and preventing controls being undertaken.?
?As part of the disciplinary proceedings Mr Rasmussen will be able to respond to the UCI?s case as submitted to the Monaco Cycling Federation. These violations, if proved, carry a penalty of a two year suspension.?
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