Having had 24 hours to digest the Danish Olympic Committe's (DIF) decision not to sanction Alex Rasmussen for missing three out of competition doping controls, the Danish Cycling Union (DCU) has confirmed that the 27-year-old is on its radar for selection to the London 2012 Olympics.
Rasmussen was part of Denmark's silver medal pursuit team at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games as well as its 2009 world championship pursuit team. He has additional world titles in the scratch race (2005, 2010) and Madision (2009).
The charges against Rasmussen were not enforced because the UCI contravened its own rule that stipulates that riders should be informed of a violation within 14 days - Rasmussen was not officially told for 10 weeks. The technicality means that he avoids a lengthy ban and will be eligible for a place on the Danish team at next summer's Games.
Rasmussen blamed the various whereabouts issues on "stupid mistakes" and was ready to accept a ban in the case until it was dismissed. He has been freed to join the Garmin-Cervelo team, with whom he signed a contract prior to being notified of the third violation, and to pursue his Olympic dreams with the Danish national team.
"Myself and [Danish coach] Lars Bonde will have a meeting with Alex in due course," said DCU Director Jesper Worre. "We will look towards planning for the 2012 Olympics, where Alex is in the frame for one of the spots on the 4,000 metre [pursuit] team. We'll meet and discuss a possible programme towards London 2012 and also ensure that Alex understands that his whereabouts reporting is always up to date."
DCU President Tom Lund stated that despite his delight at the hearing's outcome, Rasmussen will be under the spotlight.
"We received the decison with surprise as we weren't expecting an acquittal," he said. "But I would like to emphasise that we accept the acquittal and we are incredibly excited on Alex Rasmussen's behalf. Alex is one of the big names in Danish cycling and he is now free to resume his career. Similarly, we hope that this case has been a big lesson for Alex."
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