Rasmussen included in UCI's passport programme

Michael Rasmussen (Miche) shivers after stage 1

Michael Rasmussen (Miche) shivers after stage 1 (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Michael Rasmussen will be part of the International Cycling Union's (UCI) biological passport programme. The UCI said that since he may return to the higher ranks of the sport, he should be included.

"Michael Rasmussen was included in our test group throughout his doping suspension,” UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani told SPN.dk. “He was also tested in 2009 (13 times), since we considered that he may have the opportunity to return to professional cycling.”

He was dropped from such testing when he signed with the Continental team Miche, but the UCI decided to take him back. "We are currently finalising the list of riders in our test group that did not contract with a ProTour team or a professional continental team. Michael Rasmussen is on the list and he will be added to our test group in the coming weeks, " said Carpani.

Meanwhile, Miche team owner Marc Tozzi hopes that the Danish rider will help his team move up to Professional Continental status.

"Until now we have a Continental team, but we're working on becoming a professional continental team, so we have a chance to make it  into the Giro d'Italia and other major races. There are, however, economic problems throughout the world, but it does not change the fact that we are still hoping for more, " he told Feltet.dk.

Rasmussen dropped out of the second stage of the Tour Mediterranean last week, due to a combination of a knee injury and the cold weather. He next travels to Italy for the Trofeo Laigueglia ( February 20), Giro di Sardegna (February 23-27), Giro del Fruili (March 3) and Coppi e Bartali (March 23-27).

His major goals this season will be the Giro di Trentino (April 20-23), the Vuelta Asturias (April 28-May 2) and the Volta a Portugal (August 4-15).

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