Michael Rasmussen has confirmed that he was interrogated as part of the Mantova, Italy, doping investigation, but said that as far as he knows, he is not accused of anything other than knowing the pharmacist involved.
“Everyone who in some way knows the pharmacist has long since been questioned. I was questioned in April last year, but I'm not accused of anything. I have not been accused of something," he told the Danish newspaper Ekstrabladet.
Rasmussen's home in Italy is near Mantova and he said that he knows Guido Nigrelli's pharmacy, using it for his family's needs.
“I shop there for the simple reason that it is the only pharmacy that I know where I can get a discount. It gets a lot of riders.”
Rasmussen said he assumed that he was questioned because police have checked the telephone records from riders under investigation. One of those said to be involved is Lampre rider Daniele Pietropoli, with whom the Dane said he trained and called often.
Team calls the investigation “pure fantasy”
Rasmussen now rides for the small Danish team Christina Watches, and team president Claus Hembo refused to worry about any possible connection of his star rider to the doping investigation.
“Although it might be a new story in public, then there is nothing new for us. It is quite undramatic,” he told the Ekstrabladet.
“Michael was in Italy for questioning by the police last year in connection with the case. And just like with the blood doping case in Austria, they took a DNA sample and fingerprints, and since there has not been anything in the case.”
“To imagine a man who is suspended and not riding races, allegedly involved in a doping probe, it is pure fantasy,” Hembo concluded.