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Michael Rasmussen admits to doping

In a press conference strangely reminiscent of Bjarne Riis's similar event 6 years ago the dane Michael "Chicken" Rasmussen admitted to having doped throughout his career. The admission combined with promises to implicate others will result in a two year ban and the dane will presumably return to management after that period.

The former Rabobank and CSC rider Rasmussen today admitted at a pressconference that he did indeed use illegal doping practices between 1998 and 2010. That means that he essentially doped through most of his career both in MTB and on the road. Rasmussen has already been in contact with Anti Doping Denmark and it is expected that he will get a two year suspension in exchange for volunteering information about his doping practices and that of others. He also announced his retirement from being an active rider. His employers claim he has come clean to authorities about "everything". Rasmussen himself said he would not mention names and details publicly in accordance with his deal with ADD (AntiDoping Danmark)although he may do so at a later date (presumably when ADD have decided whether to make it public).

Yes, you can believe me. Unfortunately,this is what we have to deal with now in cycling. Fans can believe me. -Michael Rasmussen, July 2007

Hembo later stated that Rasmussen already answered all questions to ADD but that he would also be available to WADA and other ADAs to answer any questions if they deemed he had information relevant to them. It seems likely that the mass of info that Rasmussen has given up could be a major trigger of further revelations and if so there might be a huge positive outcome from this. All depends on the truthfulness of what was said today.

His current team Christina Watches-Onfone stands behind their rider and will employ him when his ban is served. The almost farcical press conference was all in all a staged affair with Mr & Mrs Hembo, the owners of the team, spending most of the time making statements about the teams commitment to clean cycling.Frequent mentions were also made about Rasmussen's intent to "lead the fight against doping" and work for clean sport. Rasmussen himself only read a brief statement about his co-operation with anti-doping authorities and his admission of what substances he had used in the period from 1998 to 2010. No questions were taken and he will instead answer questions later tonight in a one on one TV interview.

Regarding the timing of the confession, with Thomas Dekker publicly announcing his intention to tell all about Rabo/ Humanplasma to anti-dopining authorities the pressure would soon move to others in that group so coming clean publicly sooner rather than later was probably the smart move. Expect more of the same in the coming days/weeks/months as other big names scurry to save what little there is left to save. The avalanche looks likely to hit Danish cycling as well as rumors of what has been divulged are already swirling.