Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Denmark Olympic officials back cycling union on ban
COPENHAGEN, Denmark -- Denmark's Olympic Committee has
backed the Danish cycling union's decision to drop Tour de France
leader Michael Rasmussen from the national team.
The union, known as DCU, kicked Rasmussen off the national team
last week for failing to tell anti-doping officials of his
whereabouts for drug-testing.
Niels Nygaard, the chairman of the National Olympic Committee,
said Tuesday that "we support that [ban]," but that a final
decision on whether to exclude Rasmussen from next year's Olympics
in Beijing has not been made.
"But the naming of an Olympic team will of course be made in
cooperation with the DCU," Nygaard said in a statement. "And when
we decide which people can compete in the Olympics, one can imagine
that we will also look at ethical issues."
The DCU had previously said Rasmussen cannot represent Denmark
at the World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, in September.
"There is a very big problem right now with international
cycling," Nygaard said. "It is totally normal to be on your
Rasmussen received a warning on June 29 from the International
Cycling Union because he missed random drug tests on May 8 and June
28. Anti-doping officials sought to contact Rasmussen but he had
not informed them of his whereabouts and was reportedly training in
Danish federation and international rules require cyclists to
keep officials informed of their whereabouts for possible
unannounced doping tests.
Lance Armstrong said he had no sympathy for cyclists who fail to report their whereabouts for drug tests.
"It's 2007, everyone's accessible by cell phone, e-mail or Blackberry," Armstrong told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "I declared where I was 365 days a year. Everybody has to play by the same rules."