Alex Rasmussen has agreed with several of his cycling colleagues that he ought to be given a suspension for violating the whereabouts requirements and thus missing doping controls. The Dane was fired by HTC-Highroad earlier this fall and suspended by the Danish Cycling Union for missing three doping controls in the previous 18 months.
His case is to be heard next Thursday, November 17, by the National Sports Federation (DIF).
“There must be a punishment. But I also think it will be linked to what people have done,” he told the Ritzau news agency. “It's annoying when you know that people are doping and get one year and then I will be punished just as hard.”
“I don't mind getting a penalty at all, but I think it must be proportionate to what has happened.”
Rasmussen has said that his problems arise from “stupid mistakes” on his part, with other riders agreeing that it was strictly due to his “sloppiness and forgetfulness.” But they still think he must be punished, if for no other reason than to maintain the integrity of the whereabouts reporting programme.
“If he is acquitted of carelessness about his whereabouts, why should I sit down and fill out my whereabouts?” asked his former track teammate Rasmus Quaade. “And I say that, although I believe that he hasn't done anything.”
Rasmussen's former Saxo Bank and national teammate Jakob Fuglsang agreed. “It makes no sense that you have to sit down and fill out your whereabouts forms, if someone who hasn't completed them properly can get away with it.
“The problem for many of us - almost all of us - is just to fill them correctly. It is not because we are out to cheat anyone.”
Fuglsang, now with Leopard Trek and next year with RadioShack-Nissan, concluded, “I also think that Alex has to take his punishment if he gets it, and I am also sure that he will do that.”