Michael Rasmussen admits doping between 1998 and 2010

Man kicked off 2007 Tour de France while in maillot jaune can help ensure clean future for cycling, says his team

by Simon_MacMichael   January 31, 2013  

Michael Rasmussen at press conference 31 Jan 2013 (source NOS)

Michael Rasmussen, the Danish rider thrown off the Tour de France by his Rabobank team in 2007 when in the race leader's maillot jaune, has confessed to doping from 1998 to 2010. Anti Doping Danmark confirmed that he is fully co-operating with it, and that its Doping Commission will open a case against him. Given his "substantial assistance," a ban of two years rather than the eight he could have faced, is proposed, although Rasmussen has immediately announced his retirement from racing.

Rasmussen made his admission at a press conference this lunchtime held by the 38-year-old's Christina Watches-Onfone team, which says it believes his experience can be key to helping ensure a clean future for cycling.

The Dane, winner of the mountains jersey at the Tour de France in 2005 and 2006, will now work as directeur sportif at the UCI Continental-registered team.

Rasmussen joined the team in mid-2010, and its owners said today they are satisfied he has not doped since signing for it.

According to a statement from Anti Doping Danmark, Rasmussen has admitted using "EPO, cortisone, hormones, and blood transfusions," among other banned substances and techniques.

The agency's investigation included international co-operation from the Dutch anti-doping agency, Doping Autoriteit, the United States Anti Doping Authority and the World Anti Doping Agency. It is likely that Rasmussen's confession will lead to action against other individuals.

"I would like to thank our colleagues from the US and the Netherlands and WADA for excellent cooperation," said Lone Hansen, CEO of Anti Doping Denmark, which is holding a press conference at 2.30pm GMT this afternoon at which it is being reported that the name of a current Danish rider involved in doping will be revealed.

"The investigations of doping cases have improved very much recently, and this case is an excellent example of the implications of the work initiated by USADA’s investigation."

He continued: "I am obviously disappointed to learn that Michael Rasmussen was doping throughout most of his professional career.

"But on the other hand I would like to express my satisfaction over the fact that Rasmussen has decided to cooperate with the anti-doping authorities hereby providing us with valuable information, not only about other doping offences, but also giving us valuable insights into an otherwise secret part of professional cycling."

Morten Mølholm Hansen, Director of Development of the NOC and Sports Confederation of Denmark and Board Member of Anti Doping Denmark, commented: "We often hear that we should leave the past and concentrate on the future.

"But the knowledge we have received through the interrogations of Michael Rasmussen will be extremely important for our future work to detect the use of doping and to prevent doping in the future.

"It is also an important message to young athletes who might consider doping that you cannot hide behind a negative test result forever, you will get caught eventually.

"It also sends a signal to the entourage and support personnel connected to the athletes that we now have new tools in our efforts towards a clean sport. "

Rsmussen was sacked by Rabobank while leading the 2007 Tour when it transpired that instead of being in Mexico in June 2007, as he had told his team and the UCI, he was instead training in Italy, where he was spotted by ex pro turned TV commentator, Davide Cassani.

He was subsequently banned for two years by the Monaco cycling federation, which held his licence, a decision subsequently upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Rasmussen, winner of the cross-country mountain bike world championship in 1999 - a victory that falls within the period in which he has admitted doping - switched to the road in 2001 as a stagiaire for CSC. That led to a contract with the Danish team for the 2002 season, after which he joined Rabobank in 2003.

25 user comments

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It's never-ending...

posted by Linkinbassist [33 posts]
31st January 2013 - 15:08

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If he hadn't doped, he wouldn't have become as successful and famous, and probably wouldn't now have a job as a DS. Does he possess outstanding tactical or management skills? Or does he have his DS job because he was a famous cyclist?

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1303 posts]
31st January 2013 - 15:11

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Say it ain't so!

Ok, I get the line that former dopers can help to clean up the sport - I buy into the fact that people like Dave Millar, George Hincapie or Jonathan Vaughters can genuinely assist with that, but are we seriously saying that Rasmussen is now a reformed character? It wasn't even the first time he had been caught.

Also interesting is that the Danish doping authorities mention how investigations have 'much improved recently', crediting USADA but missing out the UCI.

Dodging the saccadic masking

posted by notfastenough [2611 posts]
31st January 2013 - 15:59

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cat1commuter wrote:
If he hadn't doped, he wouldn't have become as successful and famous, and probably wouldn't now have a job as a DS. Does he possess outstanding tactical or management skills? Or does he have his DS job because he was a famous cyclist?

what he said!

Racer 074 for the 2014 Transcontinental Race; 2,000 miles from London to Istanbul.

http://themartincox.co.uk/2014/03/racer-074-transcontinental-race-2014/

posted by themartincox [263 posts]
31st January 2013 - 16:11

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Anti Doping Danmark are saying at their press conference this afternoon that while they will not name riders or teams right now, they are determined to address the entire system that supports doping, rather than focusing just on individual riders. They also say that Rasmussen came to them voluntarily, they didn't go to him.

Personal opinion - if it's a full and candid admission that helps the sport move on, it should be welcomed, no matter who the person is and what they may have said or done in the past. But not when they're still holding something back.

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [7507 posts]
31st January 2013 - 16:18

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Well done for owning up Michael. It still makes me ROFLOL that Rabo pulled him out of the tour for a whereabouts violation! Tres ironic

Sq

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posted by Squiggle [411 posts]
31st January 2013 - 16:21

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Simon_MacMichael wrote:
They also say that Rasmussen came to them voluntarily, they didn't go to him.

if it's a full and candid admission that helps the sport move on,

of course he came to them voluntarily now, he has very little to lose and he controls the spin should something be found out at a later time!

not sure a constant trickle of doping news is helping the sport to move on though, sponsors etc are not going to appreciate the constant association <--I've no solution to it though but cant help wonder about the sports future from it

Racer 074 for the 2014 Transcontinental Race; 2,000 miles from London to Istanbul.

http://themartincox.co.uk/2014/03/racer-074-transcontinental-race-2014/

posted by themartincox [263 posts]
31st January 2013 - 16:33

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No.....seriously, who'd o thunked it... Devil

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posted by Gkam84 [8181 posts]
31st January 2013 - 16:38

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Surely this confession has happened now because he knows Rabobank staff are being investigated. However, it does seem he has confessed to quite a lot, and a pretty big cocktail of doping products. More truthful than many other confessions from "dopers who are now part of the solution".

posted by Geoffroid [16 posts]
31st January 2013 - 16:44

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I'm shocked, shocked I tell you! I shall have to stop wearing my Rasmusstrong wrist band. Truly, this is the end of my innocence. If such an apparently stand-up guy turns out to be a doper, who can we believe in?

posted by ubercurmudgeon [168 posts]
31st January 2013 - 17:35

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Really happy to hear something being learned from his confession to prevent it happening in the future....

But a job as a DS!!!

Was that the bargain? You can have a DS job if you cough up??? Feck off is what I wouldve said, better off without you and your lies.

Theres lightyears between the lies this idiot and others have spewed to hide their guilt and the truth and confessions given by the likes of Miller.
On first detection, if they lie, cheat and hide it and subsequently make an admission with all to gain and nothing to loose....please rid us of their lies. Let them ride if a shortened ban gets the dirt, they can fight it out on the road.

posted by Farky [174 posts]
31st January 2013 - 18:37

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May be we'll get two new teams in the World Tour:

- Dopers finest "Dark Discoveries presented by Amgen" Devil

- Dopers confessed finest Angel with DS Chicken presented by Alpecin

Advertisments:
Christina Sports Watch, new model with pill alert!
Rabobank, the faster bank. The unfair advantage for your money
(End of Ads)

I'm sure good old pal Paddy will find a formula to convert doping products into a point currency like: Multiply value of doping methode by the years of consumption add up the values from at least 12 riders. Add 1 point per 1k SFR donated to the UCI.

Actually I'm afraid these teams could out run any other team, with AC and Frank S. in the mountains and the "Flying Chicken" in the TTs! Liar

Advertisment:
World Tour is more, much more than wrestling on wheels, it is wrestling on (insert your favourite medication here)
End of Ad

I'm soo fed up with these me too stories these days (and buy my book next week). In my blog I'll feature PED all February, but only as Performance Enhancing Design Wink

posted by Dr. Ko [108 posts]
31st January 2013 - 19:30

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I just can't believe there is no regulation banning a doper from becoming a DS. Every time sh#t like this happens, I just can't believe it.

blog rowerowy - my blog about bicycles (written in Polish, but feel free to visit me! Smile )

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posted by mikroos [165 posts]
31st January 2013 - 20:08

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Roll on the the TRC. The sooner everyone in cycling can make a clean breast of it the better. The drip,drip of confessions by people who want to keep their livelihoods, but can see the train coming down the track, is exhausting.

posted by LeDomestique [34 posts]
31st January 2013 - 20:12

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Hmmmm....

so: dope your head off throughout your career; just as you're about to retire anyway admit doping and be lauded as some sort of hero of truthfulness; get offered a DS position.

Just what on earth is there in this sorry tale to discourage anyone from doping? If I'm a young rider I may just as well think...

"right! I'm going to...

dope my head off throughout my career; just as I'm about to retire anyway admit doping and be lauded as some sort of hero of truthfulness; get offered a DS position."

posted by ElCynico [15 posts]
1st February 2013 - 3:22

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So many never got caught because EPO can be done off season with long lasting effects, or even during the race in mini-injections into the artery [USADA testimony]. The clever ones (e,g, Rasmussen) stay within the limit of undetectability, only the greedy ones (e.g. Landis, Hamilton) go over.

If and only if the technical problems of detection are solved will doping be successfully eliminated.

Charlie Horse

posted by ch [82 posts]
1st February 2013 - 7:33

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mikroos wrote:
I just can't believe there is no regulation banning a doper from becoming a DS. Every time sh#t like this happens, I just can't believe it.

There is, but it only applies to offences committed (not discovered/revealed) after 1 July 2011.

Introduced by the UCI in June 2011.

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [7507 posts]
1st February 2013 - 8:01

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There are now so many ex-dopers helping to clean up the sport I start to wonder where all the non-dopers helping to clean up the sport are?

Get out and ride

posted by davidtcycle [59 posts]
1st February 2013 - 10:13

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@Simon - that is correct, I didn't make myself clear enough. Thanks for the clarification.

blog rowerowy - my blog about bicycles (written in Polish, but feel free to visit me! Smile )

mikroos's picture

posted by mikroos [165 posts]
1st February 2013 - 10:14

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so he doped to become a World Champion mountain biker and yet the story makes no reference to this? I know this is Road.cc but still Im a little dissapointed that arguably his biggest win and certainly the one that propelled him into the road scene isnt even mentioned...
the billion dollar question will the UCI revoke his rainbow jersey and give it to Miguel Martinez (who was widely renowned as a tool in road circles - because he wouldnt dope- or Filip Meirhaeghe, another doper?)

posted by godihatehills [13 posts]
1st February 2013 - 10:28

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Simon_MacMichael wrote:
it only applies to offences committed (not discovered/revealed) after 1 July 2011.

Introduced by the UCI in June 2010.

No doubt a well-intentioned donation in used notes might get round this Big Grin

Like others above, Rasmussen's confession doesn't surprise me at all. Having said that, I'm glad he appears to be telling the authorities everything he knows even though he doesn't seem to have much to lose now. Slightly OT, but I do wonder what the long-term health effects of doing this sort of stuff for extended periods will be.

posted by Sadly Biggins [261 posts]
1st February 2013 - 11:37

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"The investigations of doping cases have improved very much recently, and this case is an excellent example of the implications of the work initiated by USADA’s investigation."
But if he never confessed, how would they of known that he did dope?

posted by Darren C [68 posts]
1st February 2013 - 12:27

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RICO for UCI el presidents! that should fix things!

posted by dino [57 posts]
1st February 2013 - 13:59

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ch: 'The clever ones (e,g, Rasmussen) ...'

The shame of it is that he was far from 'clever' but it doesn't seem to have been too much of problem. He came out of TdF 2007 looking thick as pigsh*t and among the most widely discredited riders around at that point. And don't forget there was plenty of significant rumours before that.

Cock_Sportif: ageing YMIL

posted by cock_sportif [1 posts]
1st February 2013 - 15:11

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What a shocker...

posted by stealth [151 posts]
2nd February 2013 - 10:31

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