By Gregor Brown
Nearly one year after he was forced to leave the Tour de France while wearing the race leader's maillot jaune, Danish cyclist Michael Rasmussen has been suspended for two years for missing out-of-competition doping controls prior to the race.
The Monaco cycling federation, with whom the 34 year-old former Rabobank rider carries a racing licence, released its decision today following a hearing on May 28, according to Rasmussen's manager Moreno Nicoletti. Rasmussen has the right of appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Rasmussen was withdrawn from the Tour de France after being fired by Rabobank for missing three anti-doping controls. He reportedly missed two controls carried out by the Danish Cycling Federation and one by the International Cycling Union (UCI).
The suspension is expected to be back-dated to start on the day he left the 2007 Tour de France, July 25.
Meanwhile, a verdict in the ongoing court case between Rasmussen and Rabobank, in which the Dane is claiming damages of 5.5 million euros from his former employer, is expected tomorrow in Utrecht, The Netherlands.