French Anti-Doping Agency: Rasmussen non-negative for Dynepo

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29.09.2007/ The French anti-doping laboratory in Châtenay-Malabry says it found traces of Dynepo in the urine of Michael Rasmussen during this years Tour de France. Rasmussen was send home by the Rabobank squad after stage 16, officially because the Danish rider lied to his team about his whereabouts. Rabobank didn't want to comment  the l'Equipe report on Friday.

Copyright Heinz Zwicky
Michael Rasmussen thought he had won the Tour......(picture: Heinz Zwicky)

Michael Rasmussen told Cyclingheroes on August 18: "I am a clean rider. I don't want to have any doubt about that," but Friday's edition of French daily sports l'Equipe reported that the French anti-doping lab in Châtenay-Malabry found traces of Dynepo, an EPO-like substance made from human cells, in urin samples of Rasmussen. The samples were taken during this years Tour de France. According to l'Equipe the French lab informed the UCI about the 'non-negative' tests of Rasmussen.

The news was confirmed by the president of the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD), Pierre Bordry. Bodry told Reuters newsagency: "Traces of Dynepo, a biosimilar EPO, were found in Rasmussen's urine."  Bodry explained that the test results cannot be considered as a positive test: "Rasmussen's test could not be declared positive because of the positivity criteria of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)."

Bordry said about 10 cases of use of Dynepo and EPO-related substances by track and field athletes were reported to his agency in the past 12 months. Dynepo does not fall under the list of drugs prohibited by WADA. Formally, Rasmussen and the 10 cases of track and field athletes have not violated the regulations.

Rasmussen was pulled out of the Tour by his Dutch Rabobank team for allegedly lying about his whereabouts before the Tour. He was the overall leader of the Tour when he was expelled.

On Friday there were rumours that Rabobank may have pulled Rasmussen out of the Tour because they knew about the 'non-negative tests'. Rabobank spokesman Jan-Willem ter Avest told German newsagency DPA on Friday: "We have seen the reports in the French magazine L'Equipe about the tests but cannot comment about it."

Ter Avest added that Rabobank will not make any further inquiries into the affair.  "For us, the matter is closed," Ter Avest said.

Michael Rasmussen issued a press release on Friday saying that the UCI and Rabobank are investigating his case. Rasmussen added that he is cooperating with the investigations and that he will answer all questions. However the Danish rider stated that as long as the investigations continue he won't answer questions about his case to the media.

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