Alex Rasmussen cleared of whereabouts violations due to UCI delay
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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Alex Rasmussen cleared of whereabouts violations due to UCI delay

by Shane Stokes at 1:38 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Governing body breaks its own regulations in late communication of warning

Alex RasmussenTwo months and two days after it was announced he had three whereabouts violations and was fired by the HTC Highroad team, Alex Rasmussen has been cleared by the Danish Sports Federation and is free to resume his competitive career.

The 27 year old rider had been liable for a suspension of up to two years, but a unexplained delay by the UCI in processing its case broke its own rules and has led the federation to clear him.

“[The case against] Alex Rasmussen is dismissed because his third violation of the whereabouts rules were notified too late and thus there is no longer any case,” stated Torben Jessen, president of the Danish Sports Federation's doping tribunal.

“The UCI took ten weeks to report the infringement to the athlete, while the international standard dictates a deadline of 14 days.”

Under UCI rules, the rider must be informed of the violation with 14 days of it happening, and he then has 14 days to respond. After that, WADA must be informed. Once that is done, Article 111 of the UCI’s anti-doping regulations kicks in and clearly lays out the timeframe for the cases to progress.

It states:

Where the UCI is the responsible Anti-Doping Organization and does not bring proceedings against a Rider under article 21.4 within 30 (thirty) days of WADA receiving notice of that Rider’s third alleged Whereabouts Failure in any 18-month period, then it shall be deemed that the UCI has decided that no anti-doping rule violation was committed, for purposes of triggering the appeal rights set out at article 329.

Rasmussen’s first brush with the UCI rules happened on February 1st 2010, when an unsuccessful attempt at carrying out a doping control led to a warning by Anti-Doping Denmark, dated February 16th.

The second incident was in October of last year, when his whereabouts information was submitted late. He was warned again by ADD in a letter dated October 26th. The third incident was on April 28th when there was a failed attempt at a doping control. This led to a warning by the UCI, but it was only sent in a letter dated August 18th.

The UCI then requested action by ADD on September 13th. That led to today’s hearing, and the rider’s acquittal due to the UCI’s delay.

He is now free to resume his career and will hope that a previous contract offered to him by Garmin-Cervélo will be reactivated. The team initially said it would not be signing him, then Rasmussen later stated that Jonathan Vaughters had told him there was still a chance he could be taken on, depending on the outcome of the disciplinary hearing.

Being cleared, he could in theory be taken on by the team immediately. The American squad is unveiling its 2012 lineup today in Colorado.

Rasmussen has said that his whereabouts violations were relating to a lack of organisation on his part rather than anything more serious. With the Danish Sports Federation dropping the case due to the UCI delay, this defence appears not to have been examined.

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