Alex Rasmussen Interview: Dane speaks after HTC dismissal over missed doping tests
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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Alex Rasmussen Interview: Dane speaks after HTC dismissal over missed doping tests

by Ed Hood at 12:00 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Interviews, Doping
 
‘I knew I had one warning but had forgotten the second one…this was a bombshell’

Alex RasmussenAnyone who knows Alex Rasmussen (Denmark) would have been shocked but not surprised by his dismissal from the HTC team because of breaches of protocol regarding UCI drug testing.

Despite being a four times world track champion, Olympic medallist, key member of Mark Cavendish’s sprint train, winner in his own right (Philadelphia International this year, GP Herning and two stages in the Four days of Dunkirk last year) not to mention a real ‘coming man’ against the watch, Rasmussen remains as laid back as he did when his career was starting out. Endearing though this trait may be, however, it’s accompanied by a rather chaotic disregard for schedules, deadlines and the ‘unimportant.’

Few people who have spent any time with the 27 year-old Dane would believe he would ‘kit up’ – but most would believe that he would forget to upgrade a schedule or make a phone call.

But erstwhile employers HTC were unequivocal when asked why their response to Rasmussen’s alleged transgressions merited instant dismissal rather than a suspension whilst an investigation was conducted. ‘We received full and complete documentation from the UCI and Danish federation. The UCI had reviewed and confirmed as well.

“We talked with Alex and then acted consistent with our code of conduct which is well known and understood,” it stated.

To add to the Svendborg man’s woes there was just as little doubt about his future position at Garmin, who were to be his employers for 2012 – until today;

“Our policy is stringent. In light of this situation, Alex Rasmussen will not be joining our team,” the team indicated this afternoon.

VeloNation spoke to Rasmussen at lunch time on Thursday, when he should have been shepherding Mark Cavendish through another stage of the Tour of Britain; instead he was at home in Denmark.

VeloNation: Can you explain the circumstances of the three missed tests to us?

Alex Rasmussen: It’s actually two, there was one when the testers came to Denmark but I was riding the six days of Berlin; and another when they came to Girona and I’d gone home to Denmark for my sister’s confirmation and I hadn’t updated my whereabouts.

The third offence was regarding ‘quarters’ as we call them – you have to have your whereabouts form for the following three month period completed five days prior to that quarter starting, I was late with my submission.

VN: When did you find out?

AR: Yesterday, after the Tour of Britain stage. It was Brian Holm who told me that I was suspended and couldn’t race.

VN: The ‘quarter’ was in 2010, was it not?

AR: Yes, I’ve no idea how all this has taken so long to come to this; I’d actually forgotten that I had the two warnings - I knew I had one but had forgotten the second one, this was a bombshell.

VN: What sort of punishment might you be looking at?

AR: Worst case is two years, best case – I just don’t know.

VN: What does your lawyer say?

AR: I haven’t actually spoken to one yet, nor my agent, Paul de Geyter - it’s all happened so suddenly. Part of me thinks that I shouldn’t get a lawyer because that looks like you have something to hide.

I’ve been thinking that maybe I should talk to the UCI and explain the situation that I’ve been careless and just accept my punishment?

VN: What’s it been like in relation to the Danish media?

AR: Oh yes – it’s big news. But I’ve no idea where to start, I just don’t know…

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