Riders returning from doping suspension free to ride in Denmark

Michael Rasmussen (Christina Watches - Onfone) warms up for the afternoon time trial.

Michael Rasmussen (Christina Watches - Onfone) warms up for the afternoon time trial. (Image credit: CyclingPhoto.eu)

The Danish Cycling Union is changing its position and will now follow UCI guidelines for those who have served doping suspensions. The DCU will now allow such riders to ride on the national team and in the Tour of Denmark.

“We now accept the position that riders who get the green light to ride from the UCI are also allowed to make it into our framework,” Tom Lund, head of the DCU, told sporten.dk.

This would allow Stefan Schumacher and Michael Rasmussen, both with Christina Watches-Onfone, to ride the Tour of Denmark, or Rasmussen to ride on the national team in the world championships and Olympics. Schumacher served a two-year ban after testing positive for EPO-CERA at the 2008 Tour de France and the Beijing Olympics.

“We will not be arbiters of taste anymore because it gives us an incredible amount of extra work. There is still the caveat that we can exclude riders who openly discredit the sport or the Danish Cycling Union, but in general we are open to all riders who are in possession of a UCI license.

“I cannot offhand think of riders on that account who would be in danger of being excluded,” Lund said.

In the past, the DCU has for example excluded Bo Hamburger from the national team, although he was cleared of doping charges on technical grounds. In addition, last summer the federation tried to keep Rasmussen out of the Tour of Denmark, before finally allowing him to ride.

That problem should not arise in 2012. “Christina Watches and Stefan Schumacher are welcome in the Tour of Denmark,” Lund stated.

“That sounds eminently sensible. The aim must be to have the same rules worldwide, as both athletes and the audience knows what they have to deal with,” said Rasmussen.

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