Rabobank must pay Rasmussen, court
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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Rabobank must pay Rasmussen, court

by Agence France-Presse at 8:30 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Doping
Dutch team Rabobank must pay Danish cyclist Michael Rasmussen nearly 700,000 euros (1,1 million dollars) for the way it kicked him off its 2007 Tour de France team, a judge ruled Wednesday.

While wearing the leader's yellow jersey, Rasmussen was thrown out the race on July 25 by Rabobank for lying about his whereabouts the previous month when he was being sought out for doping tests.

The 34-year-old instituted proceedings for unlawful dismissal against his former team sponsor, demanding damages of 5.5 million euros.

A judge in Utrecht ruled that Rabobank had been entitled to dismiss Rasmussen from the team but that it followed the wrong procedure, said a statement from the court.

The bank had gone the route of immediate dismissal, a procedure that can only be used on urgent grounds: immediately after the uncovery of the facts warranting such action.

In this case, Rabobank must have known about the lies for several weeks before deciding to fire Rasmussen. The court found he was entitled to two months of salary and the 400,000 euro bonus he would have received had he won the tour -- a total award of 665,000 euro.

On Tuesday, cycling's world governing body UCI announced Rasmussen had been banned for two years by the Monaco cycling federation (FMC), with whom he had a licence.

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