Leader Rasmussen taken out of Tour de France by his team

Full story: Chicago Tribune

One of it's biggest stars is already gone, and now so is the leader of the Tour de France.
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1 - 20 of 21 Comments Last updated Aug 14, 2007
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Waukegan Bob

Chicago, IL

#1 Jul 25, 2007
I used to be interested in this 'sport', but now I follow it as if it were the WWF, as entertainment and not sport. What a shame.
BigBob

Auburn Hills, MI

#2 Jul 25, 2007
Gee, maybe Cassani was wrong and saw someone else in Italy. Or maybe Rasmussen intended to go to Mexico but got on the wrong plane. Mistakes happen! Ask those French guys that do the drug testing why it's always the foreigners that have a doping problem but never the French riders. Then ask why their newspapers report the "doping" before the officials make the news announcements. HEY FROGS: We can see thru your Merde!!
Dexter

United States

#3 Jul 25, 2007
I've watched every single minute of this TDF on VS Network. Vinokouric's recovery from a disastrous prior stage was remarkable ... then rendered bogus by blood doping. Rasmussen's demise is puzzling...why so long to find out he was training in the Dolomites when he said he had been in Mexico? It makes no sense. Now I'm waving Old Glory in hope that Levi Leipheimer can win the Yellow by Saturday, but I predict Evans will overtake the current holder of the maillot jaune in the Saturday time trials and then roll into Paris Sunday the winner of the 2007 Tour de France.

“Homosapien ”

Since: Jan 07

Minneapolis

#4 Jul 26, 2007
What happened to innocent until proven guilty? I just think they didn't want Rasmussen to win, just like they didn't want him on the podium two years ago. I may never watch another stage. If the problem happened before the race, they should have dealt with it then. Pulling him now just looks like the race is on the fix, just like pro wrestling. I hope their ratings go through the floor.
Runek

Oslo, Norway

#5 Jul 26, 2007
BigBob wrote:
Ask those French guys that do the drug testing why it's always the foreigners that have a doping problem but never the French riders.
What a smart guy, maybe you should look at the results as well? The french are not exactly fighting over the top positions, and maybe that is because they are clean?? Maybe it also has something to do that doping is a criminal act in France, while other countries do not have the same strict rules or strict test procedures. Examples are: Spain, US, Kazakhstan,+++... I do not give a f*** what nationalities they are, but if they dope and lie they should not be part of any sport. And while I am on it I can relieve my frustration over doper's and liers who never admit to doing something wrong. They are like kids with their hand in the cookie jar denying. I can mention Landis, Vino, Rasmussen +++ And on top of that people like Armstrong, who I have had great respect for, actually provide support to riders who clearly have been caught in drug tests. What does that say about him?

Sorry mate, trying to blame the french for harassing foreigners that cheat do not work for me, it is a more interesting question to ask why the riders are caught in France and not in their home countries. Maybe the same drug testing in races like Tour of California would give some interesting results?

Since: Jul 07

Houston TX

#6 Jul 26, 2007
While on the one hand, I applaud the sport of cycling for actually enforcing their rules against doping (unlike certain US sports leagues), on the other hand I have increasing concerns about the independence of the testing agency and especially about the premature "leaks" of "A test" results prior to "B test" confirmation. Fact is, that virtually all of those leaks come from ONE reporter for L'Equipe that just happens to be owned by the same French entity as the testing lab in clear violation of the rules set up and agreed upon by the teams, riders, and authorities.

To that extent I agree with several of the preceding posters that the handling of violations raises more questions than the violations themselves.

OBTW, The French team "Cofidis" has now been kicked out of the TdF because one of their riders tested positive...but still he wasn't a French "rider".

For those who don't understand why it took a couple of months from the time of Rasmussen's offense 'til the disposition is simply that the witness(es) did not immediately recognize the significance of what they saw, then report it. From that point, the team exercised due diligance to ensure that they were not jumping to conclusions, then acted. First, they stripped Michael of his recent Championship, then they fired him. Frankly, it took a good bit of courage to fire your team leader while he is leading the most prestigious race in the sport. And oh yes, lest it be overlooked, this wasn't about doping, it was about lying to the team...and the team that took the action was Danish, not French so it is hard to blame the French for this one.
Lars

Svendborg, Denmark

#7 Jul 26, 2007
So, 17 negative tests mean nothing...*shake my head in disbelief* If you can be kicked out of Tour de France with a clean record why make all those test then? It doesn't make sense and it should worry all riders! Yes, the information about where he was at a certain time was NOT satisfying, BUT is that really enough to expel him? When you have 17 negative tests on the table the answer MUST be no. If this was a guy with a history of cheating you could question his participation, but he has NEVER been tested positive! So, I agree, there must be a hidden agenda when you see how the media has persecuted him the last week.
My Opinion_El Paso_TX

United States

#8 Jul 26, 2007
ASO owns the Tour day France and L'Equipe news rag.

LNDD belongs to the French government branch of sport.

Good point about the 17 negative test results and no positive test results.

Questionable issue is about telling dopping control that you're training in Mexico and you're spotted in Italy.

Reality here is that there are rules that every rider has to live by as cycling is their profession. All the riders have to report their locations to dopping control.

Now we wait to see what comes out of all this mess.

Cheers Everyone
gibbo9

York, UK

#9 Jul 26, 2007
hey maybe the pressure is too great to have a clean tdf after all its always been rife with cheats its just that this day & age we want it to be honest, we have the technology to detect drug use we just don't know how to deal with the situations that arrise.May be it would be better if the french did'nt do the testing. it would save alot of blame.
vive le tour
My Opinion_El Paso_TX

United States

#10 Jul 26, 2007
I don't have a problem with having a French lab testing atheletes for dopping. What I have a problem with is when I see and read that this particular French lab (LNDD) has so many problems reported and that it seems that nothing is being done about it.

I would be just as upset if this was going on in any lab here in the US.

WADA, UCI, etc need to quit Talking the Talk and begin Walking the Walk!
Phillip B

Højbjerg, Denmark

#11 Jul 26, 2007
Kosh of Vorlon wrote:
Frankly, it took a good bit of courage to fire your team leader while he is leading the most prestigious race in the sport. And oh yes, lest it be overlooked, this wasn't about doping, it was about lying to the team...and the team that took the action was Danish, not French so it is hard to blame the French for this one.

The team was not DANISH but DUTCH. Rabobank is a Dutch bank! Rasmussen is Danish.

Other points:
It was 15 tests and not 17.

Rasmussen is sticking to his story that he was in Mexico and not Italy.
James

Louisville, KY

#12 Jul 27, 2007
The Tour de France is a sham. They need to stop the race, ban all people caught doping for life, and fire everyone involved with any of the cycling teams. At the very least, they need to end this year's race. Not one person in that field deserves to stand in Paris as the winner of the race. It is a joke and a disgrace that this sport continues to go on. End the insanity and stop the damn race before more doping incidents occur.

“I Love Life, People & Animals”

Since: Feb 07

El Paso, Texas

#13 Jul 27, 2007
James wrote:
The Tour de France is a sham. They need to stop the race, ban all people caught doping for life, and fire everyone involved with any of the cycling teams. At the very least, they need to end this year's race. Not one person in that field deserves to stand in Paris as the winner of the race. It is a joke and a disgrace that this sport continues to go on. End the insanity and stop the damn race before more doping incidents occur.
I can understand and appreciate your frustration James. That wouldn't be very fair to all the clean riders racing there in the TDF.

It's easy for any of us to make such statements when we're not standing in the shoes of all the riders. I rather doubt that the ASO who owns the TDF would agree with anyone proposing to stop the TDF dead in it's tracks. And I doubt that the countries these teams and riders represent would stand still in allowing that to happen.

Let's just hope that LNDD has finally perfected their testing process and that the riders accused are legally dealt with.
BigQ

Birkerød, Denmark

#14 Aug 1, 2007
- and I saw Contador in a farmacy in a little town i Denmark last Tuesday, it looked like he was hiding something...it sure looked surspecious. I asked him if he wasn´t busy at the Tour, as I reconized him from TV. He just hurried away. What was he doing in Denmark on at resting day?- Maybe he was just having a romance - but only ICU know *smiling*

“crystelZENmud”

Since: Jan 07

Reality City

#15 Aug 3, 2007
I'm still waiting for the PROOF that Rasmussen was in Italy: I have not seen ONE photo, this so-called 'reporter' CASSINI didn't write (or has well-hidden) his ARTICLE or TV piece that incriminates Rasmussen...

But NEVER FORGET: the French 'invented' the Tour de France, they invented DOPING at the Tour de France, and I'm starting to wonder if it's their TIME-sponsor: Festina, that is making menacing threats to back off of their massive sponsorship... and I sincerely hope I don't have to remind anyone here who FESTINA was....

ZENinspiteof
gibbo9

York, UK

#16 Aug 3, 2007
vive le tour (james) you loser

“I Love Life, People & Animals”

Since: Feb 07

El Paso, Texas

#17 Aug 3, 2007
Glad to see that I'm not the only one spotted a problem with the Rasmussin affair ZEN. Seems to me that many have forgotten that the Italian authorities would only need to review their records of incoming people to Italy to see if Rasmussin was actually in Italy at the stated time period. Last time I traveled abroad they also stamped my passport!

KISS formular works quite well!

Cheers Everyone

“crystelZENmud”

Since: Jan 07

Reality City

#18 Aug 3, 2007
James,

Can you add a 'Because' to answer my 'Why'?

Because '... is a sham.' is insufficient: It makes BIG money... isn't that what SPORT is?

How many NFL players are earning $30K/yr?(how many of the TdF peloton are down near that?(about 25K Euros))

How many NFL players can PLAY for 6hours straight with NO BENCH, and NO HUDDLES?

Find a real sport to compare cycling to, and please get back to me...

Thx
ZENslim
James wrote:
The Tour de France is a sham. They need to stop the race, ban all people caught doping for life, and fire everyone involved with any of the cycling teams. At the very least, they need to end this year's race. Not one person in that field deserves to stand in Paris as the winner of the race. It is a joke and a disgrace that this sport continues to go on. End the insanity and stop the damn race before more doping incidents occur.

“crystelZENmud”

Since: Jan 07

Reality City

#19 Aug 3, 2007
Dyed his hair white, cut it short, put on a Rabobank jersey and talked with an anal-retentive English accent? Squawked a bit?:-)

I saw him here also!

Conta-everywhere-dor

ZENzzzz
BigQ wrote:
- and I saw Contador in a farmacy in a little town i Denmark last Tuesday, it looked like he was hiding something...it sure looked surspecious. I asked him if he wasn´t busy at the Tour, as I reconized him from TV. He just hurried away. What was he doing in Denmark on at resting day?- Maybe he was just having a romance - but only ICU know *smiling*

“I Love Life, People & Animals”

Since: Feb 07

El Paso, Texas

#20 Aug 7, 2007
ZENmud wrote:
James,
How many NFL players can PLAY for 6 hours straight with NO BENCH, and NO HUDDLES?
Find a real sport to compare cycling to, and please get back to me...
Thx
ZENslim
<quoted text>
Hey ZEN, I like that one!!!

"Beiddrn wrote:"
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