Four-time track cycling world champion Alex Rasmussen has been unceremoniously dumped by his HTC-Highroad team for failing to attend a doping test. The 27-year-old Dane, who was a member of Team Saxo-SunGard in 2009 and 10, has had his licence suspended by the Danish Cycling Union and will now miss the upcoming road world championships in Copenhagen (September 19-25), where he was due to compete in the time trial.
HTC, currently riding high in the Tour of Britain having taken a one, two with riders Mark Renshaw and Mark Cavendish on Stage Five, dismissed Rasmussen as soon as the missed dope test became apparent. Team manager Rolf Aldag commented: “These are clear violations of the team’s code of conduct. We act on these violations immediately.” An official statement further confirmed: “Upon notification of a missed test, Alex Nikki Rasmussen’s contract with HTC-Highroad has been terminated with immediate effect for breach of the team’s code of conduct. The UCI, NOC and Sports Confederation of Denmark notified the team today that a missed test occurred and has been verified by a UCI review. The team was also notified that Rasmussen had two missed tests in 2010 prior to joining HTC-Highroad that had not been previously reported to the team.”
However the bad news doesn’t end there for Rasmussen. With the effective disbanding of HTC at the end of the current season due to lack of headline sponsor he was due to join Team Garmin-Cervelo for 2012, but with Garmin having built their reputation on a strong anti-doping stance they too have decided that Rasmussen is no longer for them.