Michael Rasmussen has admitted to using performance enhancing drugs throughout the majority of his professional career. The former Rabobank and CSC rider called a press conference today, admitting that he doped from 1998 until 2010. He has been served with a two-year ban by Anti Doping Denmark after providing "substantial assistance" in the fight against doping.
"I used EPO, growth hormone, testosterone, DHEA, insulin, IGF-1, and cortisone and did blood transfusions," Rasumssen said reading a prepared statement, looking pale and emotional but in control.
"I've informed the anti-doping authorities of what I specifically used, when and how. My agreement with them is confidential, which means I can't disclose further details at this time. That time may come later."
"When I stand up today, I will be a relieved man. I am glad that I no longer have to sit and lie to you today, as I have done for so many years. From today my cycling career is over. I want to cooperate with the Danish institutions. I know I cheated and I cheated other riders. I'll accept my punishment."
Anti Doping Denmark report that Rasmussen, who was ejected from the 2007 Tour de France while wearing the mailot jaune, for lying about his whereabouts, has offered to cooperate fully with the investigation. Rasmussen has also confessed to using drugs during the 2007 race, in which he passed all anti-doping test.
“In this context, interrogations of Michael Rasmussen have been conducted last week in Amsterdam and this week in Copenhagen,” a press release read.
“The Doping Commission of the NOC of Denmark now opens a doping case against Rasmussen, and the case will be raised before the independent panel (the Doping Tribunal of the NOC) when all conditions are met. Within a few days, Michael Rasmussen will receive a temporary suspension.”
Rasmussen’s confession and cooperation hasn’t just been confined to the Danish authorities, with NOC and Sports Confederation of Denmark), The Netherlands (Doping Autoriteit) and the USA (USADA) and WADA all being consulted.
Having evaluated Rasmussen's statements, it is the opinion of the anti-doping authorities that Rasmussen has offered "substantial assistance" and accordingly the preconditions for a reduced sanction are met. The NOC's Doping Commission therefore intends to prosecute Michael Rasmussen before the Doping Tribunal, requesting a suspension of 8 years, but reduced by three quarters to 2 years, starting on 1 October 2012, i.e. from after Rasmussen participated in his last race.
Rasmussen competed on the cross country mountain bike scene between 1995 and 2001, before joining Bjarne Riis' CSC-Tiscali team in 2002. He won the tough Giro dell'Emilia one-day race in Italy and then raced with Rabobank between 2003 and 2007. He fled the 2007 Tour de France just hours after taking the yellow jersey with victory at the summit of the Col d'Aubisque. He was banned for two years for lying about his UCI Whereabouts status before the Tour de France but made a modest comeback in 2009 and then helped create the Christina Watches team in 2011.
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