World cycling’s governing body, the UCI, has revealed that it plans to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) over the acquittal of former HTC-Highroad rider Alex Rasmussen on charges relating to three missed out-of-competition drugs tests.
The 27-year-old, who is contracted to ride for Garmin-Cervéllo next season, was sacked by HTC-Highroad during September’s Tour of Britain after he was suspended by the Danish cycling federation. That suspension also cost him the opportunity to race in the world championships in his home country.
Ordinarily, athletes who have missed three out-of-competition tests, typically as a result of failing to update their ‘whereabouts’ information as had happened in Rasmussen’s case, face a ban of up to two years.
Last month, however, DIF, the Danish national Olympic committee, exonerated the 27-year-old, saying that the UCI had taken ten weeks to inform Rasmussen of his third failed test, rather than the required 14 days.
Following that decision, Garmin-Cervelo, which had initially said the cyclist would not be joining the team as planned, named him in its roster for 2012.
Danish news agency Ritzau confirmed yesterday that the UCI it had appealed that decision to CAS.
The cyclist himself has been reported as being unsurprised by the governing body’s action, but confident that CAS will uphold the DIF’s decision.
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.