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A TRIBUTE TO (and in defense of) MICHAEL RASMUSSEN

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A TRIBUTE TO (and in defense of) MICHAEL RASMUSSEN

Old 07-30-07, 08:56 AM
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mlvernal
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A TRIBUTE TO (and in defense of) MICHAEL RASMUSSEN

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Michael was on his way to fulfill a life long dream and win the yellow jersey of the Tour de France 2007. Three days before he could step up on the podium on Champs Élysées in Paris, he was fired from his team on grounds of lying about his whereabouts during his training period.

Michael was not tested positive in any of the 15 tests taken on him during the Tour 2007. When he was thrown out of the race he held a comfortable 3 minutes to second place Alberto Contador. The Tour de France 2007 was for all intents and purposes stopped prematurely.

Michael Rasmussen showed formidable form, fatigue and cunning, brilliant strategic planning and in every way he lived up to the legendary heroes of the Tour de France. To many's suprise (and apparantly dismay) he created the Tour 2007 single-handedly - of course with impressive support from his Rabobank teammates.

The decision to throw him out of the tour - three days from the podium in Champs Élysées - is not only a far cry from fair. It also represents a new moralist approach that has nothing to do with the idea that is the Tour de France: A poetic, brutal and extreme sport where rules are - if not irrelevant - then certainly secondary to the goal. As such the participants of the Tour de France are not role models to follow. As such the sport itself does not mirror the ever-changing moralities of the modern, western civilization. And as such, putting it under moral and political scrutiny says more about our society than it does about the Tour de France and indeed the participants themselves (even counting the bad apples).

It will happen again, when a tour-rider will be accused of not living up to expectations and regulations, and when heresays and rumours again will be swarming around his team and in the press. What then? Will this again be grounds on which to disqualify him from the race, fire him from his team or sanction him with even harsher means practically ruining his career (or going a long way to ensure that it is)?

The answer from a non-moralist and non-religious perspective is that this should never be the case. Indeed, I am not supporting doping. But I will remind that doping is a part of the Tour and will always be a part of extreme sports. Of course the sport should be clean. But when realizing it isn't, and when subsequently waging a new "war on drugs", it is absolutely imperative that we do not loose sight of what is important. Not the moral view of the decade. But steadfast principles as rule of law and civil rights. And of course the beauty, entertainment and downright action that is inherent in sports like the Tour de France.

So here is a tribute to Michael Rasmussen for representing the latter three. And of course a tribute to the poetry of the Tour itself. A poetry that Michael wrote so well during the tense days of the Tour 2007.

Thanks for reading!!

If you want to show your support there are sites out there where you can. For instance www.kyllingen.com (chicken) and the myspace profile www.myspace.com/michaelrasmussen_2007.

-mlv
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Old 07-30-07, 08:59 AM
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The Chicken is a cheater and a liar and as such, he got what he deserved. Rabobank did the right thing. End of story.
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Old 07-30-07, 09:05 AM
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All this would've been a moot point had Rasmussen not broken UCI & team rules; let alone falsify his whereabouts. If he's telling the truth (eg Mexico vs Italy), it's an easy fact to prove.

I don't know if MR doped...he may have, he may have not; but I have a difficult time believing a Pro Cyclist of his experience simply "forgot to check in" etc...so yes, for me, it is a case of 'Where there's smoke, there's fire."
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Old 07-30-07, 09:09 AM
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You want to accept doping in cycling?

I agree he got what he deserved. He didn't follow the rules, lied and cheated and put a fellow mountain biker in jeapordy by trying to get him to deliver banned substances to him in Italy by lying to him.

I read his evasive interview and he said nothing to convince me he was innocent. No way his team fires him without some darn good reasons.
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Old 07-30-07, 09:13 AM
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When you answer a question such as "Wouldn't a passport or travel documents clarify your whereabouts?" with:

"Well, what I am saying is that now we have to see what the [legal] case brings and we will take it from there."

Something's definitely rotten in the state of Denmark
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Old 07-30-07, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by FixdGearHead View Post
for me, it is a case of 'Where there's smoke, there's fire."
Lance and Floyd produce more carbon emissions than China yet they still seem to get a lot of support around here. It’s a conspiracy!

No love for Vino or the chicken?
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Old 07-30-07, 09:16 AM
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The team should have gotten rid of him before the tour even started for evading those drug tests.
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Old 07-30-07, 09:17 AM
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He didn't follow the rules. Shouldn't be surprised to be ejected.

BTW, where does Rasmussen now say he was during the weeks preceding the tour? Is he claiming Mexico or Italy now?
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Old 07-30-07, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Enthalpic View Post
Lance and Floyd produce more carbon emissions than China yet they still seem to get a lot of support around here. It’s a conspiracy!

No love for Vino or the chicken?

landis is a punk and hope he is stripped of his TDF victory. lance doped but was never busted. what ras did was stupid and indicative of a cheater.

glad to see his stupid ass stripped of the MJ right when it looked to be a done deal. couldn't think of a better ending .

ed rader
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Old 07-30-07, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Enthalpic View Post
Lance and Floyd produce more carbon emissions than China yet they still seem to get a lot of support around here. It’s a conspiracy!

No love for Vino or the chicken?

- Vino's positive A and B samples is a bit more than "Smoke", that's a full on forest fire
- Until the Chicken can prove (again, which is easy to do) where he really was, it's overtly suspicious.
- I believe Floyd is guilty; unfortunately I don't think it will ever be concretely proved one way or the other.
- Of all three, there's less smoke around Lance than Ras, Floyd or Vino....while I personally believe Lance had used PEDs in his past, he never falsified his location and posted a negative result of every test he's taken (no, that doesn't prove he never used, but it's all you have to go on if basing arguments on documented facts)
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Old 07-30-07, 09:27 AM
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I'd like to hear if MR actually comes up with some evidence to back his story up. I've only heard "they only have one man's word - that's crazy". But that's not the same as presenting something to show he really was in Mexico. Seems unfair the accused has to prove his innocence, but if he's clean, he should be willing to do it; I know I would, no matter how pissed off I'd be...
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Old 07-30-07, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by ch9862 View Post
I'd like to hear if MR actually comes up with some evidence to back his story up. I've only heard "they only have one man's word - that's crazy". But that's not the same as presenting something to show he really was in Mexico. Seems unfair the accused has to prove his innocence, but if he's clean, he should be willing to do it; I know I would, no matter how pissed off I'd be...
They have more than one mans word. They have that, but they also have an entirely independent AP photoshoot at a bike shop. That photoshoot on the very day he missed a drug test.

Oops.

And at this point I would not be surprised to eventually find out his team has even more.

If I were to try to pick the big question at this point it would be how much did Rabobank know and how soon did they know it. E.g. were they the investigator in this or the co conspiritor?
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Old 07-30-07, 09:56 AM
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doping fraud. not appearing for drug tests is the same as doping, period. lying is worse.
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Old 07-30-07, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Enthalpic View Post
Lance and Floyd produce more carbon emissions than China...
Now that's funny.
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Old 07-30-07, 10:06 AM
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Doesn't what he did come down to "breach of contract" and so the team is very much able fire him.

When confronted with the truth,he first lied again,then gave in and said , yes he'd been in Italy.....the team fired him on the spot....

He lied to avoid the dope tests then lies to the team again during the tour....Ya,I'd fire his ass too
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Old 07-30-07, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by mlvernal View Post
To many's suprise (and apparantly dismay) he created the Tour 2007 single-handedly - of course with impressive support from his Rabobank teammates.
What tour were YOU watching? True, he grabbed the lead, had tremendous luck and good skills (and who knows what else...) on his TT, and did well on the mountains. But he hardly controlled the peloton Lance-style.


Originally Posted by mlvernal
the participants of the Tour de France are not role models to follow. As such the sport itself does not mirror the ever-changing moralities of the modern, western civilization. And as such, putting it under moral and political scrutiny says more about our society than it does about the Tour de France and indeed the participants themselves (even counting the bad apples).
What a crock.

Mind you, I hardly treat athletes as though they are moral paragons; many of the athletes in my high school, for example, had the moral development of a 5 year old.

But with Rasmussen, he apparently lied about his whereabouts and fudged his story in enough ways to make it rather plausible that he was attempting to avoid the doping controls. All he had to do was say "I can give you proof of my whereabouts within 24 hours" -- or, possibly, wave his passport around -- and Rabobank would not have fired him.

Modification of moral standards to suit your preferred outcome is slightly ridiculous. What can I say, cheating and lying are generally not considered professional behavior. (Unless you're working in Russia...)


Originally Posted by mlvernal
Indeed, I am not supporting doping. But I will remind that doping is a part of the Tour and will always be a part of extreme sports. Of course the sport should be clean. But when realizing it isn't, and when subsequently waging a new "war on drugs", it is absolutely imperative that we do not loose sight of what is important. Not the moral view of the decade. But steadfast principles as rule of law and civil rights.
I see no evidence that Rasmussen was deprived of his rights. He failed to convince his team that he was telling the truth -- or to even stall them long enough for him to present evidence that he was where he says he was. Considering his position, it is reasonable to assume he had no proof.

Shouldn't he have phone records? ATM receipts? Passport stamps? Credit card statements?

"Moral issues aside," the guy raised suspicions in his own DS, was incapable of mediating those suspicions (even for long enough to present proof of his assertions), and the suspicions were strong enough that the DS booted out his #1 guy.

Unless Ras can provide good evidence that he was where he says he was, please spare us the sanctimoniousness.
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Old 07-30-07, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by urodacus View Post
not appearing for drug tests is the same as doping, period.
Wrong.
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Old 07-30-07, 10:13 AM
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Lets get the Timeline Correct Here

Originally Posted by ch9862 View Post
I'd like to hear if MR actually comes up with some evidence to back his story up. I've only heard "they only have one man's word - that's crazy". But that's not the same as presenting something to show he really was in Mexico. Seems unfair the accused has to prove his innocence, but if he's clean, he should be willing to do it; I know I would, no matter how pissed off I'd be...
The best part is, that one man's testimony was made on national television before the controversy even started. Prior to the Danish Team's announcement, the former Italian cyclist (working as a commentator on a European television broadcast covering the Tour) mentioned meeting Rasmussan at the top of some mountain in the Dolomites. He mentioned this casually in part as he was praising Michael Rasmussan.

Only after the Danish authorities announced the infractions did this comment become controversial. I think too many people have the timeline screwed up. They think the guy claimed to have seen Rasmussan AFTER the controversy broke out.
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Old 07-30-07, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by vjp View Post
Wrong.
You are correct - it is not a 100% correlation. However, it does not matter. The team and the ASO have the right to fire or bar someone from riding if they feel it hurts the team or their image. People confuse the US Court System with the rest of life. Our education system is really broke.
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Old 07-30-07, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by VT Biker View Post
You are correct - it is not a 100% correlation. However, it does not matter. The team and the ASO have the right to fire or bar someone from riding if they feel it hurts the team or their image. People confuse the US Court System with the rest of life. Our education system is really broke.
Many people are convicted on circumstantial evidence.

Most people brought to trail are found guilty. Some who are found guilty are innocent although this is a very small percentage.

And Rasumssen says "on one man's word" well he is one man's word too and his words ring hollow.

Probably a 99 percent chance he was lying about his wear abouts because he had something to hide and that was probably doping. Why would he miss tests and lie about his where abouts?
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Old 07-30-07, 10:31 AM
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The very premiss of the article is flawed. It operates under the assumption that the TdF or ASO had MR removed from the race. When in fact it was his own team who withdrew him from the TdF and not the ASO. He violated team rules, and THAT got him tossed from the TdF by his OWN team.

Me thinks the newbie is a troll.
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Old 07-30-07, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by julian View Post
Many people are convicted on circumstantial evidence.

Most people brought to trail are found guilty. Some who are found guilty are innocent although this is a very small percentage.

And Rasumssen says "on one man's word" well he is one man's word too and his words ring hollow.

Probably a 99 percent chance he was lying about his wear abouts because he had something to hide and that was probably doping. Why would he miss tests and lie about his where abouts?
I agree completely about conviction with circumstantial evidence.

What I am asserting to is that many of the posters on this board are upset Rasmussan was yanked without due process. And as I am trying to educate these people is that due process only occurs in the US Court System (not sure about the European court systems, pretty sure this is not the case in Saudi Arabia!!).

But they take the idea of due process, and seem to think that the ASO and Rabobank should have withheld any action against Rasmussan until they could prove he was lying. I am hoping they come away from this entire situation realizing that in the private world, due process is not required to fire most employees or to kick someone out of a non-public event (the Tour de France).
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Old 07-30-07, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by VT Biker View Post
I agree completely about conviction with circumstantial evidence.

What I am asserting to is that many of the posters on this board are upset Rasmussan was yanked without due process. And as I am trying to educate these people is that due process only occurs in the US Court System (not sure about the European court systems, pretty sure this is not the case in Saudi Arabia!!).
But they take the idea of due process, and seem to think that the ASO and Rabobank should have withheld any action against Rasmussan until they could prove he was lying. I am hoping they come away from this entire situation realizing that in the private world, due process is not required to fire most employees or to kick someone out of a non-public event (the Tour de France).
or in guantanamo .

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Old 07-30-07, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by VT Biker View Post
You are correct - it is not a 100% correlation. However, it does not matter. The team and the ASO have the right to fire or bar someone from riding if they feel it hurts the team or their image. People confuse the US Court System with the rest of life. Our education system is really broke.
Correct!!
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Old 07-30-07, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Keith99 View Post
That photoshoot on the very day he missed a drug test.
Really? I'm curious how will MR's story unfold.

I'm not very comfortable with the "rider takes all the consequences, and as soon as the story breaks out" model, but if we agree that many (?) dopers pass current tests without breaking sweat, then presuming everyone's innocence doesn't seem very helpful either...
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