Danish climber says Rabobank management knew about its riders' doping
THE HAGUE (AFP) — Danish rider Michael Rasmussen is claiming unfair dismissal and $7.3 million in damages and interest from his former team, Rabobank, after he was sacked in 2007, a report said on Thursday. In testimony Thursday, Rasmussen claimed that he received blood transfusions along with Michael Boogerd and Denis Menchov while they were teammates at the Dutch squad.
The Dutch news agency ANA said the cyclist told a tribunal in the Netherlands that team managers were “aware of doping practices” and as a result concluded that his dismissal was not justified.
“Denis Menchov, Michael Boogerd, and I got blood doping,” said Rasmussen. “Everyone did agree that after the ninth stage of the  Tour we would take blood transfusions. They [team management] tried to distance itself from blood doping. They knew about it, but wanted nothing to do with it.”
Boogerd publicly admitted doping on Dutch television on Wednesday night.
Menchov, however, denied the allegations on Thursday.
“No, it’s not true,” he said when asked Wednesday if he blood doped. “I don’t have any comments about doping.”
At a previous court hearing in 2008, Rasmussen was awarded 665,000 euros in unpaid wages but he appealed the ruling, claiming that the sum was insufficient.
Rasmussen was thrown off the 2007 Tour de France when he was wearing the leader’s yellow jersey for having lied about his whereabouts before the race in order to escape out-of-competition dope tests.
He said he was in Mexico while in fact he was in France and Italy.
The Dane later admitted that he lied to the sport’s world governing body, the UCI, which oversees drug testing, and that a number of his
teammates were aware of his real whereabouts. He was given a two-year ban.
At a tribunal in Arnhem on Thursday, a former doctor for Rabobank backed up Rasmussen’s claims, ANA reported.
The 38-year-old, who twice won the polka dot jersey for best climber in 2005 and 2006, recently announced an end to his career and admitted that he used banned performance enhancing drugs over 12 years.