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Former Tour de France King of the Mountains Michael Rasmussen has forced another now-retired rider to open up about past drug use, with the former’s claims of a cover up prompting Nicki Sorensen to come forward.
Ramussen was one of the key witnesses in the Anti-Doping Denmark report, which is due to be released Tuesday, June 23. He told Ekatrabladet that a copy of the report that he had previously signed had been modified to leave out certain names, including that of Sorensen, and that he was being asked to sign the now-redacted version.
What’s more, he claimed that he was threatened with legal action if he broke confidentiality.
“I was somewhat shocked when I got the mail and the letter on the 22nd [of May],” he stated. “Because there was a confidentiality clause, and I was threatened into silence.
“It is very clear from the text that was sent to me that they would push me into silence and to destroy the documents I had received. It is quite clear.”
Rasmussen said that he previously signed a promise to tell the truth. “And now they wanted me to sign a document in which I commit myself to conceal the truth. It is completely absurd,” he said.
“I feel bad being tried threatened to lie, when I now have an agreement with them to tell the truth. It is shocking.”
Rasmussen has referred the situation to his own lawyer and said that he doesn’t know why ADD is acting as it is.
“I simply can not figure out the motive to protect Nicki Sorensen – and others for that matter,” he said.
“If you compare with the USADA report, there were some who got some ‘sweet deals’ but it did not mean that their testimony was deleted from the report. It merely meant that they got a reduced sentence for participating in it.”
Responding to Rasmussen’s comments, Sorensen has come forward and admitting to doping during his career. However he said it took place early on. This would place it outside the statute of limitations.
“I told ADD on my own experiences,” he admitted to BT.dk. “I have done this to ease my conscience and because I also wanted to help the sport of cycling.
“I doped, I have fully accepted that. I’m sorry.
“It happened in the early years of my career, and it is more than ten years back. It was my own decision to do it and I can really only refer to the ADD report when it is published.”
Sorensen spent the vast bulk of his career riding for Bjarne’s Riis’ CSC/Saxo Bank team, winning one stage each in the Tour de France and Vuelta a España. He retired at the end of last season.
The 40 year old claimed that there was no deal made with ADD to protect him. He suggested that the original report received by Rasmussen must have been sent to him in error.