UCI won't oppose Rasmussen's return

Pending CAS decision on one-year's salary fine payment

The International Cycling Union has said that it will not oppose the return of Michael Rasmussen to the peloton, at least pending a further ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Rasmussen's two-year suspension expires on July 25, and he has announced his intention to return to cycling as soon as possible. He was suspended for falsely reporting his "whereabouts" in the time leading up to the 2007 Tour de France.

The UCI noted that Rasmussen had signed the "Commitment to a new cycling", under which he agrees to pay a fine equal to one-year's salary if he were to be suspended for anti-doping violations. He has not paid this fine.

The one-year's salary fine requirement is currently under review by the CAS. The court ruled that Alexander Vinokourov, who was also suspended on anti-doping charges and is preparing to return to racing this month, would be allowed to return to competition pending its decision. Rasmussen has also appealed the requirement to the CAS.

The UCI noted that, while it will not oppose the return of the two riders, it "strongly rejects the attitude displayed by Messieurs Vinokourov and Rasmussen; despite committing serious violations of the anti-doping rules, they have rejected any form of reparation by refusing to contribute to the costs of anti-doping procedures."

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