Dane Michael Rasmussen responded to news reports claiming that he said that he wished several of the sport's leaders dead, saying that the press has taken his comments out of context and that he meant nothing of the sort.
"My words have gotten translated so many times they have lost all their meaning," Rasmussen told Cyclingnews. He also issued a statement explaining how the miscommunication happened.
”I explained in an interview in the Danish newspaper, Weekendavisen, about the irrational feelings that characterize you as a man, when you are stoked by heavy grief and anger.
"In that context I described that you in a fully abstract way may have very negative feelings towards the resistance you are met with. This has, by other media, been presented as if I should have wanted named persons to get hurt or even die. I have never said or meant what so ever.
"I understand if people who see themselves in such a connection feel offended. I am sorry that these people due to false stories in the media are exposed to this kind of unpleasant experiences. I cannot determine what the media writes, but I can say what I mean. I never wished any harm to anyone,” Rasmussen said.
The Dane was expelled by his team from the 2007 Tour de France for violating the UCI's whereabouts policies in the time leading up to the Tour. He was in the yellow jersey with a strong chance at taking home the overall win when he was suddenly ejected from the race and his team. He fought his two-year suspension that followed to no avail.
Rasmussen claimed he was training in Mexico in June that year, and filed his whereabouts as such, but was spotted by an Italian journalist training in Italy. He argued that his team knew exactly where he was at the time and they were wrong to fire him. He won 665,000 euro, a tenth of what his lawyers had requested.
He made his return to the sport last summer, and now rides with the Italian Miche squad, but told Cyclingnews he is currently in negotiations with a ProTour team.