It is another hammer blow to cycling’s most prestigious event. Tour de France leader Michael Rasmussen is no longer in the race after being dramatically dismissed by his team. Hence, symbolically, there is no yellow jersey on today’s 17th stage.
According to the Rabobank team, the Dane lied about his training whereabouts in June. He had already been warned by the sport’s governing body for failing to provide it with his personal schedule which all riders are obliged to do so that random doping tests can be carried out.
Rasmussen’s sacking marks a fresh crisis for the Tour’s credibility. Police have been questioning Italy’s Cristian Moreni after his positive dope test. And this after pre-race favourite Alexander Vinokourov also tested positive. The scandal looks sure to overshadow the traditional triumphant end of the tour, when it reaches Paris on Sunday.