Garmin-Sharp: One slot remains free, but Rasmussen isn’t presuming anything
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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Garmin-Sharp: One slot remains free, but Rasmussen isn’t presuming anything

by VeloNation Press at 11:28 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Danish rider pledges to work hard to try to secure place

Alex RasmussenAlthough he has been told that there is a chance that he might return to the Garmin – Sharp team when his current suspension reaches an end, Alex Rasmussen has said that he is wary about taking anything for granted and vows to do everything he can to secure the place.

The Danish rider was fired by the team on July 4th when he was handed a partially-backdated 18 month ban over whereabouts violations. He had originally been cleared by his national federation on November 17th 2011, on the grounds that the UCI had not followed its own rules in relation to notification of whereabouts offences.

Garmin – Sharp manager Jonathan Vaughters said that he believed the whereabouts violations were due to Rasmussen being disorganised rather than due to any doping reasons, but the team was forced to fire him when the UCI successfully appealed his acquittal to CAS.

Rasmssen is due to return to racing in on April 1st. The team announced its 2013 lineup yesterday and has one slot remaining to be filled.

“I talked to the boss Jonathan Vaughters, and he has promised to hold a place,” he told Sporten.dk. “But he will not guarantee I'll get it. So in this way nothing is certain. But anything is possible.”

Rasmussen is a very strong time trialist and would be a big boost to the team in group tests, as well as in other races. However he is aware that his circumstances complicate things and feels that he has to give a reminder of his value to Garmin – Sharp.

“Right now I am doing everything I can so that the team wants me back,” he explained. “I train hard and I hope I can join a training camp or something, so I can prove that I am in good shape.”

He said that in order to avoid disappointment, that he wouldn’t allow himself to feel secure about getting a place on either Garmin or on another team.

Rasmussen's history relating to whereabouts issues:

Rasmussen was a member of the HTC Highroad team in 2011 but his racing there came to an end when he was sent home from that year’s Tour of Britain over whereabouts issues which had come to light.

Under WADA and UCI rules, riders have to post details in advance of where they will be located so that out of competition testing can be carried out. Rasmussen had three whereabouts violations, leaving him open to suspension and a disciplinary action.

His first whereabouts violation 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 took place in October of 2010, 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 of last year when there was a failed attempt at a doping control.

He explained the issues in an interview with VeloNation’s Ed Hood in July. “When I rode for Saxo Bank in 2009/10 we had our own system for whereabouts, but then in 2011 the system changed to ADAMS (Anti-Doping & Management System) and I didn’t really fully understand it,” he said.

“That was what caused the problem when I was riding in Berlin at the six days [the first whereabouts violation – ed.]; I thought that you just updated the information – but you have to ‘submit,’ which I failed to do.

“The second one came about because I was a day or two late submitting what we call our ‘quarters’ – that’s the information regarding where we’re going to be for the next three months. The third one was my fault, I went back to Denmark from Girona and I forgot to update – no excuses.”

Rasmussen helped the Garmin – Sharp squad to team time trial success in the 2012 Giro d’Italia, and will hope to return to the team and to help it win gold in the world TTT championships next autumn.

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