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Alex Rasmussen (HTC Highroad)
Garmin-Cervelo annuls the Dane's 2012 contract
Alex Rasmussen has said he is “shocked” by a potential two-year ban after he missed three out of competition doping controls. “Some stupid mistakes could cost me two years,” he told dr.dk.
The Dane arrived home in Copenhagen Thursday morning after being withdrawn from the Tour of Britain. It was announced early Thursday that the Danish Cycling Union had suspended his licence and that HTC-Highroad had annulled his contract.
The Garmin-Cervelo team has also confirmed that Rasmussen will not be part of the team in 2012.
"Our policy is stringent. In light of this situation, Alex Rasmussen will not be joining our team," the US ProTeam told Cyclingnews. Directeur sportif Johnny Weltz told Ekstrabladet.dk, “We have a clear doping policy. It is also one that he has signed. The rules won't be bent and Alex knows that.”
Rasmussen denied that his missed tests were linked to doping. “Everybody in cycling knows me and knows that I am one hundred percent clean. And the UCI knows it too - they have 20-30 blood tests from me, so they know that I am not doped but are doing it to set an example,” he said.
His former Saxo Bank-SunGard teammate and frequent track partner Michael Mørkøv told the Ritzau news agency that he was shocked by the news. “It's incredibly sad news to wake up to. It's really unfortunate for Alex, and it's incredibly unfortunate that he has not taken the doping tests more seriously.”
He emphasised though, that “I am absolutely convinced that it's about sloppiness and forgetfulness. I am absolutely convinced that he is not hiding anything. He is a really good friend who is thoroughly credible.”