By Susan Westemeyer
Rabobank Directeur Sportif Erik Breukink said he does not feel that he did anything wrong in his dealings with Michael Rasmussen this summer. An independent committee yesterday released a report criticizing the Danish rider, the team and the UCI, concluding that he should never have been allowed to start the Tour de France.
The report stated that Breukink knew that Rasmussen was not in Mexico on June 6, as he noted to the UCI, but was in Italy – the two met in Bergamo on that date. The Dutchman claimed that he did not know that Rasmussen had said in his whereabouts report that he was in Mexico. "I stand by that," he told Sportwereld.be. "It looks like I am involved, but that is not so. You can blame me for making a mistake, but June 6 didn't stick in my head. I don't feel bad."
He told Telesport.nl that "I was in no way involved in his 'whereabouts.' He is responsible for that, not me."
The Team Rabobank Board of Directors said that it has "taken notice" of the report and "is convinced lessons can be learned from this report," but wants to thoroughly study the report before commenting on it. However, on the team's website, the Board emphasized that it "wants to make clear that no member of the Board of Directors has wilfully given his assistance to the wrong and late reporting by Michael Rasmussen of his whereabouts to the UCI. On top of that, no member of the Board of Directors has had the knowledge that Rasmussen had not been in Mexico in the preparatory phase towards the Tour de France. Private matters that supposedly are at the bottom of this wrong and late reporting to the UCI have never before been known by the Board of Directors."