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Michael Rasmussen (Christina Watches)
Dane reports on Italian hearing in Mantova pharmacy case
Italian investigators apparently hope to convict Michael Rasmussen on doping charges based on recordings from hidden microphones from a pharmacy in Mariana Mantovana. They claim the recordings contain the sound of an ampoule being broken and thrown away, which indicates that the Danish cyclist underwent “infusion therapy” about one month before the end of his suspension in 2009.
Rasmussen's hearing in the matter was held Monday before the Italian Olympic Committee CONI. He has said that he used the pharmacy for his family and denied any “talk of illegal products or illegal practices.”
The tapes are said have “the recorded sound of an ampoule that is broken and then thrown into a metal garbage can. Based on this, they have concluded that on this day I have gone through infusion therapy,” Rasmussen told ekstrabladet.dk.
Infusion treatment consists of medications, vitamins and minerals entering the body through a drip. It is not doping and he did not receive such therapy anyway, he claimed.
Rasmussen further disputed the interpretationof the sounds heard on the tape. “I hear rather a bunch of keys or a pen being put on a desk. And I can not hear that it is an ampoule that is thrown into a metal trash can. It might as well be an empty box of gum.”
“But if we play with the idea that prosecutors hear correctly, one must remember two things. First, it makes no sense that I should throw myself into something fishy one month before the end of my quarantine, where I had no team or the prospect of finding one.”
Secondly, “it would not have been illegal to make such a therapy.”
Rasmussen earlier called the investigation a “witch hunt”, saying there is no case or evidence against him.