Rasmussen awaiting outcome of Vinokourov’s CAS case
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Monday, February 22, 2010

Rasmussen awaiting outcome of Vinokourov’s CAS case

by Conal Andrews at 9:10 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping

Like Alexandre Vinokourov, Michael Rasmussen is racing while waiting to hear the outcome of a CAS appeal relating to his previous suspension. Both riders have been requested by the UCI to pay one year’s salary for their past transgressions, and were told that they could not compete until the fine was paid.

An appeal to CAS enabled them to compete until the court ruled if the demand was legal. Rasmussen has said that he has no idea when a decision will be made, but that it looks likely that Vinokourov may find out in a month’s time.

“I have not yet been consulted, but it is probable that CAS has chosen to deal with the Vinokourov case first,” Rasmussen told Politiken.

“I have spoken with Vinokourov about it. He has testified and expects to have a decision by the end of March. I am waiting for that [outcome] and I can imagine that it will also be important for my situation.”

Both riders were excluded from cycling following the 2007 Tour de France. Vinokourov tested positive for a homologous blood transfusion, while Rasmussen was suspended after lying about his whereabouts and thus evading anti-doping controls.

The latter is currently racing with the small Miche team, which is not part of the biological passport system. However he denies recent claims in the press that this means he is not being tested regularly. “As soon as it was known that I would come back, I was again included in the UCI system,” he said, then suggested he was being closely monitored.

“Last season, I was tested 13 times. I have been fine with that, so it is clear to everyone that I compete on an equal footing with the riders in the world Elite, which I still like to compare myself with.”

The Miche team has indicated that it hopes he will stay with the squad and help it to grow. It is however more likely that he will want to return to a top-tier setup as soon as possible, getting into bigger races and also being paid more.

Rasmussen states that being regularly tested works to his benefit. “It’s also the case that I can go directly into one of the big teams where the biological passport is mandatory, if such an opportunity suddenly materialised.”

He is currently in Sardinia and will begin racing in the Giro di Sardegna on Tuesday.


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