Tour de Farce (France), Race Leader Michael Rasmussen Ordered Withdrawal By Sponsor (Missed Drug Testing)


The Tour de France has gone from yellow jersey to black eye to death nail. How much more embarrassment can this sport endure? One really needs to question the logic of allowing Rasmussen to compete in the first place if there were so many suspect  issues preceding the race. The race leader sent packing  as the Tour de France staggers into Paris amidst controversy again.

Tour de France leader Michael Rasmussen was all but assured to win this years race after the his most recent win in the mountain climb stage. A sure win until he was asked to withdrawal by his team sponsor.

Some French newspapers declared the Tour dead Thursday and said it should be stopped after the bombshell announcement late Wednesday night that Rasmussen’s team was sending the Dane home for lying.

Team spokesman Jacob Bergsma said Rasmussen’s withdrawal was ordered by their sponsor, Rabobank. It was linked to “incorrect” information that Rasmussen gave to the team’s sports director over his whereabouts last month. Rasmussen missed random drug tests on May 8 and June 28, saying he was in Mexico. But a former rider, Davide Cassani, said he had seen Rasmussen in Italy in mid-June.

The remaining members of the team will still take the start on Thursday, Bergsma said.

Rasmussen had been the leader since July 15.

“My career is ruined,” he told Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad.

Rasmussen out of Tour and team

Rabobank team leader Theo de Rooij makes the announcement
Rasmussen told the team leadership that he was training in Mexico in June but it eventually became clear that he was actually in Italy. As a result, he missed out-of-competition drugs tests, for which he received two warnings from the international cycling union UCI.

Under UCI rules, three warnings equal a violation of doping regulations. Over the past few weeks, Rasmussen has been tested for doping many times, but all tests came back negative. His departure means that the Spaniard Alberto Contador takes the lead with only four days remaining of the cycling event.

Posted July 26, 2007 by
Bizarre, Sports, World | 14 comments

If you liked this post, you may also like these:

  • Tour de France embattled winner Floyd Landis’ Father in Law Commits Suicide
  • Tour de France winner Floyd Landis denies Doping, This is going to get Ugly
  • Aruba suspects to undergo DNA testing
  • Tour de France Starts Today … All Eyes on 7 Time Tour de France Winner Lance Armstrong and his Return
  • Michigan Bills Would Require Individuals to Work For Welfare and Pass Drug Test

  • Comments

    14 Responses to “Tour de Farce (France), Race Leader Michael Rasmussen Ordered Withdrawal By Sponsor (Missed Drug Testing)”

    1. Richard on July 26th, 2007 3:55 pm

      We’ve seen all sorts of scandals on this side of the Atlantic involving organized sports.

      But a BICYCLE RACE scandal?

    2. ndc on July 26th, 2007 4:44 pm

      It’s death knell, not nail…..although this may be the nail in the coffin for this year’s race…..

    3. Rammstein on July 26th, 2007 5:43 pm

      you might not believe it, but roadcycling is a very big sport in Europe and for example, during last weeks stage in the mountains 1.5 million (that is 1/10 of the entire dutch population) was watching the tour de France live on TV.

      At work a lot of companies who normally have music for the employees switch over to Radio Tour de France from the dutch broadcasting company. Yesterday during the final stages of the mountain stage I was still working but we too had on Radio Tour de France and all the employees in the office flocked to the radio to hear the end of the stage.

      On average, between 50 and 60 percent of all the people watching TV in the Netherlands on a working day during the tour, will be watching the road cycling.

      Unfortunately in the past the cyclist lived in a world were doping was not only easily available but almost expected in a lot of pro-cycling teams. That mood however has changed now and this very very well watched and loved sport is going through an anti-doping revolution which is one of zero tolerance.

      The dutch Rabobank team (which pulled Rasmussen from the race yesterday and after that fired him) has a budget of more that 22 million US dollars.

      A lot of team however have budgets of about 10 to 15 million dollars for their team.

    4. david r on July 26th, 2007 8:27 pm

      I was in France one summer. They go nuts for the NBA playoffs, but the tour is another level of craziness. They will stare at the TV for hours, watching some guy’s rear end on a damned bicycle.

    5. Richard on July 26th, 2007 9:38 pm

      Mr. Rammstein, I frankly wasn’t aware that it was that popular, though of course I’ve heard of the Tour de France.

      I guess the more relevant comment is … I had no idea that it was as much of a big-money sport as it appears to be.

      I honestly don’t see the appeal of watching people race on bicycles. Then again, I’m an avid (and indifferent in ability) chess player … which offers even less action!

      Anyway, integrating bike use into daily life (as I understand the Netherlands has done) is to be encouraged.

      We here had ideas of doing that back in the 1970s, but of course the plan was forgotten.

    6. Richard on July 26th, 2007 9:39 pm

      Just wondering … why does it matter if Rasmussen was in Italy rather than in Mexico?

    7. Rammstein on July 26th, 2007 10:13 pm

      Richard, to enable out of competition drugs testing cyclists have to give three months notice/schedules of where they will be at any given time.

      If they change their venue for training they have to inform the UCI of that immediately so that the can be tested where they are.

      Rasmussen not only did not warn the UCI of his whereabouts during the about 22 days, his team has evidence/testimonies that Rasmussen was not only not truthful towards the UCI of his whereabouts, he was also lying to his team/employers.

      He told his team that he was in Mexico and that was why he had missed 2 doping tests, he just forgot to let the UCI know in a timely fashion. However, when the doping testers were sent to Italy to test him (where he originally was supposed to be) he was nowhere to be found. The testers were told he was in Mexico, not Italy. Because if he had been in Italy and just somewhere other than his home address they testers could have gone there, but with him supposedly on another continent they had not alternative but to go back to where they came from.

      And that leads to the question as to why, if he really was in Italy, did he change his location and lie to the UCI and his team regarding his whereabouts, if he was doing everything honestly and above-board?

    8. Richard on July 27th, 2007 5:58 am

      Mr. Rammstein, thanks for the info. I don’t know how it works in other sports, but couldn’t imagine that testing for dope so far ahead of an event was required. Apparently it’s an ongoing thing?

      Of course, if he were in Mexico, Italy or wherever for a bicycling event, then I guess testing for drugs would be required then too. But my uninformed idea is that the tests are done a day or two before an event.

      Awhile back there was a proposal to make chess an Olympics sport, something that I think is ridiculous. However, even in the world of chess there’s controversy about having competitors tested for drugs before they play, and this would have to be the case if it had been made an Olympics sport.

      I believe the proposal was defeated. Somehow the image of two people at a chessboard doesn’t square with what we expect of the Olympics. It’s NOT a sport, it’s a GAME.

      But drug testing for chess … how far does this go?

      (The monetary rewards for chess proficiency are laughable compared with those for athletes. Besides, you don’t see too many cheerleaders at chess.)

    9. Rammstein on July 27th, 2007 8:19 am

      out of competition drugs-tests are done all through the year.

      Especially in cycling it is a common occurrence. During the month before the tour the France the athlete was twice visited for out of competition testing but could not be found and once just before the tour he was found for an out of competition testing for drugs.

      Also his team tested all riders, he was tested prior to the tour de France starting (in the form of a health test), every time a rider wins a stage he is tested, if a rider is in the yellow jersey he will be tested daily and if you are picked at random (even if you finished 122nd that day) you will also be tested.

      For example, one of the people tested positively was selected through random selection (probably computer generated) after finishing 102nd in that particular stage.

      He now faces a 2 year ban and an extended ban from being hired by any pro-tour team for an additional 1 or 2 years. So if he is older than 30 he can forget ever becoming member of a top rated team ever again.

    10. katablog on July 27th, 2007 10:43 am

      Actually, the way I understand the allegations is that where ever Rasmussen was, he was in a high altitude climate that allows some type of alteration to the blood. There are rules as to when you can be training in high altitudes before the race and apparently Rasmussen was allegedly outside those allowances.

    11. Richard on July 27th, 2007 6:56 pm

      Thanks for all the information … I have no idea if anti-drug tests in all sports are as stringent as these are.

    12. Rammstein on July 27th, 2007 7:53 pm

      well Germany has announced that it will be forcing their football players to let them know where they are during their holiday/preparation/recuperation period in order for them to have random out of competition drugs tests.

    13. ononotagain on July 27th, 2007 8:20 pm

      Perhaps it’s time to split the pursuit of human excellence into two seperate streams. One drug assisted and one natural. I can only imagine what feats humans could achieve with all available assistance. We are going to need genetic modification anyway, to colonise other planets. Why not hone the skill now? I can envisage robotic prosthetics, genetic enhancement and all kinds of alterations to the human body.
      It is admirable and the essence of humanity to strive to achieve at the highest level, but let’s also embrace what we can do when we utilise technology to the fullest extent.

    14. Rammstein on July 27th, 2007 9:01 pm

      I don’t. I envisage honest and fair competition in sports without any form of doping or genetic enhancing.

    Leave a Reply

    Support Scared Monkeys! make a donation.

    • NEWS (breaking news alerts or news tips)
    • Red (comments)
    • Dugga (technical issues)
    • Dana (radio show comments)
    • Klaasend (blog and forum issues)
    E-mail It