Rasmussen admits he lied about training whereabouts

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COPENHAGEN, Nov 8 (Reuters) Dane Michael Rasmussen, who was thrown out of the Tour de France this summer while leading the race, admitted today he had lied about his training whereabouts before the Tour but said he never used doping.

''I was not in Mexico in June. I gave wrong information to the UCI (International Cycling Union),'' he told a news conference in Copenhagen. ''Rabobank always knew where I was.'' Rasmussen was sacked by his team Rabobank in July four days before the Tour's end after they said he lied about where he had been training. At the time, Rasmussen insisted he had been training in Mexico, while the Dutch team said he had been in Italy.

Rasmussen, flanked by a lawyer who several times answered questions directed to the rider, did not explain why he lied, saying that it was a private matter.

The 33-year-old rejected allegations that he used performance-enhancing drugs, showing a slide of what he said were his blood test results.

In September, the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD) said Rasmussen tested non-negative for the banned substance erythropoietin (EPO) during this year's Tour de France.

The result of the analysis of Rasmussen's urine sample cannot be declared positive for legal reasons, AFLD said.

Rabobank is scheduled to issue its own report on Rasmussen's firing on Monday.

REUTERS PDS KP2243

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