Michael Mørkøv of Team Saxo Bank has been denied permission to start the Vuelta a España on Saturday. He was named too late to the Danish team's squad to be approved to take the place of injured rider Baden Cooke. It is as yet unclear as to whether Saxo Bank will instead replace Cooke with Dane Kasper Klostergaard.
The teams must submit their roster, including reserve riders, to the International Cycling Union 20 days before the race starts. “Since I only just came into good form, I wasn't on the list,” Mørkøv told Ekstrabladet.dk. “We had bet on a waiver but the UCI would not bend the rules. It's really, really bitter.”
“Michael has been refused permission by the World Anti-Doping Agency [sic] to start in the Vuelta because he has not been on the start list long enough,” team spokesman Allan Jorgensen confirmed to TV2Sport. “'We must take the blame ourselves since we should have known it, so the fault lies with us,” he said.
Mørkøv tweeted angrily, “It sounds like a bad joke. I'm on my way home from the Vuelta now. WADA will not let me start because of some stupid paperwork.”
It would have been Mørkøv's second grand tour, as he had already ridden the Giro d'Italia this year. He most recently finished fourth overall in the Tour du Limousin and 12th in the GP Ouest France-Plouay.