Rabobank cycling team director quits

6th August 2007, Comments 0 comments

6 August 2007, AMSTERDAM (AP) - The general director of the Rabobank cycling team, Theo de Rooij resigned Friday, the team said in a statement.

6 August 2007

AMSTERDAM (AP) - The general director of the Rabobank cycling team, Theo de Rooij resigned Friday, the team said in a statement.

After the dramatic dismissal of Rabo rider Michael Rasmussen while he was leading in the final stages of the Tour de France, De Rooij has "decided to step down, in consultation with the Rabobank," the statement said.

De Rooij dismissed Rasmussen for allegedly lying about his whereabouts to evade doping tests. Rasmussen, who has vehemently denied the accusations, missed random drug tests in May and June.

He said he had been in Mexico, but a former Italian rider said he saw him in Italy at the time.

"After the disappointments in the last Tour de France, de Rooij wants to have the time and peace to consider his future," the team said in a statement. "The Rabobank understands and respects this decision."

After riding for the Rabobank team when it was created in the mid 1990s, De Rooij became team manager in 2003 and general director in 2004.

"This parting is very hard for me, very very hard," De Rooij said in a statement. "The team is my life and my love. But I didn't see any other choice."

Earlier on Friday, Rabobank named Peter Vogelzang, a former chief of police in the Dutch city of Utrecht, to lead an independent investigation into the events surrounding Rasmussen's dismissal.

Vogelzang is a member of the Netherlands' national cycling association's supervisory board.

[Copyright AP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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