Alex Rasmussen has claimed that the three warnings he received for problems regarding his whereabouts for out of competition doping controls were due to sloppiness on his part and had nothing to do with cheating or doping.
Rasmussen was temporarily suspended by the Danish Cycling Union and fired by his team HTC-HIghroad earlier this week after it was disclosed that he had commited three “whereabouts” violations. He now risks up to a two-year ban and has lost his place with Garmin for 2012.
The 27-year-old explained how the three violations occured to the Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet.
The first one came from Anti-Doping Denmark in February 2010, when he was not where he had stated he would be, but instead was competing at the Six Day race in Berlin.
“I had actually completed my whereabouts and had written the name of our hotel in Berlin. Unfortunately I forgot to press the 'Send' button on the computer and the update never reached doping authorities,” he said. Ironically, he underwent a UCI doping control at the Six Day race.
He then compounded his mistake by making an unfounded assumption. “I explained it to them afterwards and actually thought that the warning was cancelled. It was not.”
Eight months later he was warned again by Anti-Doping Denmark, for filing his whereabouts for the fourth quarter of 2010 too late. “There is not much to say about that. It cannot be explained away. I'm forgetful and just didn't get it done in time. I accepted the warning, but still believed that the first was annulled. At this time I had two warnings, but I thought I only had one. It was not super, but I was not worried. I knew I just had to be very careful.”
He was not careful enough, however. The third warning came from the UCI, for an event on April 28. He had said that he would be at his home in Girona, Spain, but had travel to Denmark for his sister's confirmation and not changed his whereabouts statement. Because he was gone, he missed the UCI testers who came to Spain to take an out-of-competition control. A missed control is considered to be equal to a positive control.
“Just after the confirmation I was told that there was a failed doping test. I knew it was crazy, but I tried to explain to myself. It failed, and I knew I would get a warning. I still thought that it would be only the second warning. Only when I received a letter on the 18th August did it dawn on me that it was the third. It was a huge shock for me.”
Rasmussen hopes to convince a Danish disciplinary hearing that he did not puposely tried to avoid tests. He has received the support of several teammates and colleagues. Many confirmed his lack of organization skills, with Greg Henderson of Sky tweeting, “If u know him u will realise he couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery."