Dutch court postpones Michael Rasmussen vs Rabobank decision
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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Dutch court postpones Michael Rasmussen vs Rabobank decision

by Ben Atkins at 3:06 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
Danish rider seeking further compensation for 2007 Tour de France dismissal

michael rasmussenThe case between Dutch team Rabobank and Danish rider Michael Rasmussen hit yet another delay as an Arnhem, Netherlands, court failed to reach a verdict, de Telegraaf reports. Rasmussen is seeking compensation of 5.8 million euros from the Dutch bank after the team fired him during the 2007 Tour de France. A court already ruled in his favour, back in 2008, when he was awarded 715,000 euros by a court in Utrecht, Netherlands, but the Dane feels that this is not enough.

Rasmussen was leading the 2007 Tour by 3’10” over Alberto Contador, and had just won the sixteenth stage, when it came to light that he had lied about his whereabouts in the weeks preceding the race. The Dane had claimed to have been training in his wife’s home country of Mexico, but - on an unrelated occasion - former rider and Italian TV summariser Davide Cassani had remarked that he had seen him training in the Italian Dolomites.

Rasmussen was immediately pulled from the Tour - handing victory to the three-way fight between Contador, Cadel Evans and Levi Leipheimer - and was subsequently fired by the Rabobank team.

The basis for Rasmussen’s appeal is that he claims that the Rabobank team management knew about his whereabouts lies, and sent him to the tour regardless. The original Utrecht court appeared to agree with this summation, but its award was based solely on missed salary and probable endorsements from 2007. Rasmussen argues that he has since missed out on the financial advantages that a Tour winner would have enjoyed since.

After serving a two-year suspension for his offence, the Danish climber has been unable to return to a top-level team; he currently rides for the Continental team Christina Watches-Onfone, which was built around him, and consequently misses out on most of the biggest races in the calendar.

The Rabobank team is now expected to call witnesses to demonstrate that Rasmussen's claims are baseless; there is however, no date set for any follow up sessions.


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