The Biggest TdF Scandals: 2007—Firing Michael Rasmussen

Forget about the doping. These ten scandals rocked cycling to its core.

Michael Rasmussen had a rough 2 but an even worse 2006.

Michael Rasmussen had a rough 2005 Tour, but an even worse 2006.     Photo: Gsl/Flickr

Scandal continued to plague the Tour in 2007. During the race, three riders were expelled for doping violations and the entire teams of two of the three offenders left as a result. Then, after winning stage 16, race leader Michael Rasmussen, a Dane riding for the Dutch Rabobank squad, was sacked by his team management for violating team rules.

Rabobank claimed Rasmussen had lied about his whereabouts the month before the Tour started (teams must know where their riders are at all times in case anti-doping officials wish to conduct tests). Rasmussen said that he was training in Mexico, but was spotted by a former cycling pro on the road in Italy instead.

Rasmussen’s removal from the race was unprecedented. The only other Tour leader expelled mid-race—Belgian Michel Pollentier in 1978—was removed for trying to cheat a doping test. Rasmussen is the only leader to have been fired by his own team.

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