Michael Rasmussen, the Danish cyclist who was thrown out of Rabobank’s cycling team close to the end of this year’s Tour de France, should never have been allowed to start, according to an independent report into the scandal.
In addition the team directors, led by chairman Theo de Rooij, did not ‘adequately assess the importance of multiple signs concerning Rasmussen’s behaviour prior to the tour’, the report says.
This, the report continues, endangered the reputation of both the Rabo cycling team and the bank itself.
Race leader Rasmussen was sacked in the final week of the tour after it emerged that he had lied repeatedly about his whereabouts prior to the start of the event, giving rise to claims that he had avoided dope tests.
In a statement, Rabobank said it is ‘patently obvious’ that Rasmussen should not have been allowed to start the tour, but pointed out there was no evidence he had used doping.
The report also criticised the international cycling union UCI for failing to act with ‘sufficient vigour and credibility’ when it came to enforcing its own doping regulations.
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