Garmin-Sharp sacks Alex Rasmussen after CAS hands Dane 18-month ban
Tribunal allows UCI's appeal following Danish federation's decision not to sanction rider for whereabouts infringements
Garmin-Sharp has terminated Danish rider Alex Rasmussen's after the Court of Arbitration for Sport gave him an 18-month ban, partly backdated, related to whereabouts infringements dating back to his spells with Saxo Bank and HTC-Highroad. The decision follows an appeal of world cycling's governing body, the UCI, of the Danish national olympic committee, the DIF to clear the rider last November.
The DIF ruling was based on the UCI allegedly not having notified Rasmussen within the required time that he had missed a third test in an 18-month period, which ordinarily would result in an athlete receiving an automatic two-year ban.
In a statement published on its website, the CAS said that "the procedural mistake (delay in communications) did not change the fact that an anti-doping test was missed by Alex Rasmussen after he had committed two other failures for which he had received proper notice.
"Accordingly, the CAS has partially upheld UCI's appeal and has imposed a suspension of eighteen months on the rider, commencing on 1 October 2011 (less the period of the provisional suspension that he has already served). Furthermore, the results achieved by Alex Rasmussen in the period from 28 April 2011 to 14 September 2011 (start date of his provisional suspension) will not be disqualified."
In a statement released this afternoon, Garmin-Sharp management company Slipstream Sports said: "We have followed the lead of the authorities throughout this process. Although the missed whereabouts tests occurred on Alex's previous team, in light of the CAS verdict, Alex will no longer be with Slipstream Sports."
News that Rasmussen was facing charges relating to three missed tests broke during last year's Tour of Britain and he was immediately sacked by his then team, HTC Highroad. The 28-year-old had already lined up a switch to Garmin for the 2011 season, but the US team initially said he would not be joining, before confirming that a fresh contract had been signed after he was exonerated by the DIF.
A multiple world champion on the track, Rasmussen missed two tests in 2010 when he was riding for Saxo Bank - the first because he was racing in Berlin but had stated he would be in Denmark, the second when he should have been in Spain according to the information he logged in the World Anti Doping Agency's ADAMS database, but had returned home for his sister's confirmation.
The third offence came in April last year when the rider was late filing his whereabouts information for the following quarter, submission of which is required five days before the quarter in question begins.