Rabobank has just released a report stating that Tour de France rider Michael Rasmussen concealed his whereabouts and tried to get Rabobank to go along with him:
On April 24, a member of the Rabobank team board of directors sent Rasmussen an e-mail concerning airline tickets for a training period in the Pyrenees from June 25 to 29. He responded a day later, “I prefer if we can keep the trip quite [sic], as I am supposed to be in Mexico at the time.” The director forwarded this e-mail to the chairman of the board of directors, Theo De Rooy, who responded, “I want to let you know that as employer I urge you to provide the controlling bodies with the correct whereabouts information! If you want to go training in Mexico, just go ahead, it is out of the question that your employer is going to cooperate in some cover up operation. The responsibility in this matter is completely yours!” In response, Rasmussen called De Rooy to say that he wished to keep secret from the press the fact that he was training with team-mate Denis Menchov in the Pyrenees.
After days ago before the Rabobank report was released, Rasmussen admitted he lied when he said he spent the entire month of June 2007 training in Mexico. During the Tour de France, an Italian friend revealed that Rasmussen was actually training in the Dolomites and within a few days, Rabobank fired Rasmussen, ending his chance to win the Tour (Rasmussen was the leader of the peloton at that time and was almost certain to win).
The report concludes that “based on the facts [known to Rabobank] prior to the Tour, Rasmussen should not have been allowed to start in the Tour. The committee has not seen any evidence of unethical conduct or a lack of integrity on the part of the Board of Directors of Rabo Wielerploegen B.V.”Â
The report slams UCI, the cycling federation, for being “insufficiently precise, insufficiently unambiguous, insufficiently coordinated, insufficiently effective and overly random” on the duty of cyclists to report their whereabouts.”
Rasmussen will be giving his side of the story on Wednesday.