Dane suspended for whereabouts violations
Slipstream, the company behind the Garmin-Sharp team, has fired Alex Rasmussen after the Danish rider was given an 18 month ban for violating the whereabouts system.
"We have followed the lead of the authorities throughout this process. Although the missed whereabouts tests occurred on Alex's previous team, in light of the CAS verdict, Alex will no longer be with Slipstream Sports."
On Wednesday the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that Rasmussen’s three missed tests from before he joined Garmin were enough to sanction the rider.
The Dane had three violations of the whereabouts reporting system, missing three doping controls in an 18-month period. He was fired by his then-team HTC-Highroad last September and suspended by the Danish Cycling Union.
In November of last year, the Danish Olympic Committee decided not to sanction him, citing UCI procedural errors. Rasmussen was allegedly informed of his last violation 10 weeks after it occurred, instead of the prescribed 14 days.
Garmin-Sharp team boss Jonathan Vaughters revealed he hasn’t yet read the ruling but lamented the process that has led to Rasmussen’s ban being reinstated and, consequently, his being sacked by the squad. "I don’t know enough about the ruling to make a comment, but I’m a little bit disappointed by the process. It should be much more clear than it has been," said Vaughters.
"It’s a little sad that there wasn’t information-sharing between Saxo Bank, HTC and also with us, because if you look back to when he moved to HTC he had one missed test that they didn’t know about. We can help the riders keep track of these things, but we have to be informed about what’s going on with potential recruits. However, at the moment medical privacy laws prevent that. That makes it very difficult to make correct assessments."
Vaughters said he hoped Rasmussen had learned a lesson from the affair, and that other riders are also taking note. "He’s a good kid but he’s very disorganised. I wish he could have been on this team a few years ago so we could have managed his whereabouts a little bit better, because we’re very strict on these things, much more so than most teams. We keep track of our riders. We don’t even have a three-strikes-and-out rule. We have a two-strikes-and-you’re-benched rule. I just wish we’d been in a place to prevent it."