Danish national Olympic committee says no case to answer because UCI didn't notify former HTC rider in time...

Former HTC-Highroad rider Alex Rasmussen has been cleared by Denmark's national Olympic committee of charges brought in connection with three infringements relating to out-of-competition drug testing and is free to ride in 2012. Following the news, Garmin Cervelo, the team he had been due to join for next season, included the Dane's name as it unveiled its roster for the coming year.

Rasmussen, aged 27, was sacked by HTC-Highroad during September’s Tour of Britain after it was revealed that he had committed a third infringement relating to his whereabouts, which enables testers to reach athletes to obtain samples.

While he was with Saxo Bank in 2010, Rasmussen missed two tests – one because he was racing in Berlin, when his whereabouts information said he should have been in Denmark, the second when he had returned home for his sister’s confirmation but not updated his details, which stated that he would be in Spain.

Then, in April this year, he was late submitting the required details of his whereabouts for the following quarter, required five days before the quarter in question begins. That omission constituted his third offence, which would ordinarily result in an athlete facing an automatic ban of up to two years.

Rasmussen has today been acquitted by DIF, the Danish national Olympic committee, because of a delay by world cycling’s governing body, the UCI, in notifying the cyclist that he committed that third whereabouts violation.

In  a statement, the president of the DIF doping tribunal, Torben Jessen, said that as a result, Rasmussen no longer had a case to answer because the UCI had waited ten weeks to notify the rider of the infraction, rather than within the 14 days required international standards.

A multiple world champion on the track – he has won rainbow jerseys in the Madison, scratch race and team pursuit – Rasmussen had been due to join Garmin-Cervelo for the 2012 season.

After he was suspended, the US-based outfit had stated he would not be joining, although subsequently it said that it would await developments. It has now been confirmed that he will be with the team next season.

Rasmussen’s suspension in September denied him the opportunity to take part in the UCI road world championships in his home country.

The UCI and the World Anti-doping Agency have the option of appealing today’s decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.


notfastenough [3728 posts] 6 years ago

"he was late submitting the required details of his whereabouts for the following quarter, required five days before the quarter in question begins"

Can he amend this info after submission? I realise that a pro bike rider needs a structured lifestyle, but do they all really know where they are going to be on a given day 3 months from now?

I tend to have no sympathy for infringers in the drug space, but the reasons cited above don't sound like something warranting a doping ban or anything...

Simon_MacMichael [2503 posts] 6 years ago

Yes you can change it - by his own admission, the second failed test at Saxo was because he had changed his plans and not updated. Same goes for the first one, I imagine.

Rasmussen held his hands up at the start and said 'fair cop,' but as both he and some of his HTC colleagues said at the time, all he is guilty of is being disorganised and having a rather laid-back approach towards paperwork.

If that becomes a criminal offence, I for one am in a lot of trouble.

Nigel_2003 [14 posts] 6 years ago

Problem is that not filing accurate whereabouts information would allow a doper to avoid tests, and therefore positives. If the UCI are lenient on whereabouts notification infringements it's a "Get Out Of Jail Free" card for them.

In this case, the concensus seems to be that he just messed up, as opposed to trying to get away with something, and he seems to have been prepared to take any sanction on the chin so I'm personally not too upset if he gets off on a technicality. Not impressive that UCI messed up though.

Simon E [3206 posts] 6 years ago
Simon_MacMichael wrote:

he is guilty of is being disorganised and having a rather laid-back approach towards paperwork.

We all make mistakes but perhaps now he realises his career depends on it he will be more organised.

There are surely enough smartphone/iPad apps, widgets and gizmos to aid the riders in this task, not forgetting traditional pen & paper methods of keeping track of one's commitments.