In a follow up to my post yesterday, last night saw the yellow jersey wearer Michael Rasmussen kicked out of the race by his own Rabobank team. The 33-year-old Dane had seemingly weathered the storm over missing four competition dope tests in the past 18 months and had won Wednesday’s stage, looking pretty much certain as the winner for this year’s tour.
However his team has learnt that Rasmussen lied to them over where and what he was up to during the month of June when he was in fact in Italy and not in Mexico as he had told them.
“He broke team rules” said a team spokesperson and it is now not even sure if the team will carry on in the race.
Tour de France race director Christian Prudhomme – who phoned International Cycling Union (UCI) president Pat McQuaid to berate him over not informing the organisers over Rasmussen’s missed tests – said that there was not much more he and his co-directors of the race could have done.
“We did all we could do to get rid of him,” Prudhomme said. “I at the very least do not feel that I have been dishonoured.” “One cannot mock the Tour de France impunitively like those riders,” he added, referring to Rasmussen, Cristiano Moreni – who also exited on Wednesday after failing a drugs test – and Alexandre Vinokourov who was thrown out on Tuesday.
*Sigh* The Tour is becoming more and more of a farce and a debacle now, and perhaps this year, like last, should be wiped from one’s memory. Now what else is on the telly?