Bjarne Riis has denied reports that he is on the verge of signing Michael Rasmussen to ride for Team Saxo Bank-SunGard for the coming year. He said that while the Dane should have another chance to ride for a high-ranked team, it will not necessarily be his team.
Italian media sources reported earlier this week that the signing was imminent.
“What is currently going on has nothing to do with him,” Riis told the Danish Ritzau news agency.
“Basically nothing has happened in the matter from my side. There's nothing that I've looked at and nothing that I've had under discussion. Nothing has happened," he repeated.
Now that Rasmussen has served his doping-related suspension, Riis said that he deserves another opportunity to ride at the highest level, but the question is with which team. “I stand by what I said, that it would be appropriate for him to have a chance. But I have not said that it should be with me.”
Rasmussen started his career as a stagiaire with Team CSC, as it was then known, in 2001, and stayed with the team in 2002, before signing with Rabobank.
Rasmussen, 36, served a two-year suspension for lying about his whereabouts prior to the 2007 Tour de France. After riding as an Elite 2 Rider in 2009, he was with Miche for the first part of the 2010 season. His contract ended the middle of April, and he had hoped to get a contract for the latter part of the season which would allow him to ride the Vuelta a Espana. He was unsuccessful in his quest.
Rasmussen most recently appeared on the Danish version of the television show “Dancing with the Stars.”