Cycling

Rasmussen fired by HTC, suspended by Danes

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP)

Four-time track cycling world champion Alex Rasmussen of Denmark was suspended Thursday by his national federation over missed doping tests and fired by his team.

Rasmussen has missed three tests in the last 18 months. He received two warnings from his national anti-doping agency and one from the cycling UCI governing body, Denmark's Cycling Union said on its website.

''Alex Rasmussen has been suspended and the Sports Confederation of Denmark's doping council will raise a case against him,'' the cycling body said in a statement. ''Alex Rasmussen cannot take part in next week's world road cycling championship in Copenhagen.''

HTC-Highroad, based in San Luis Obispo, Calif., fired Rasmussen after being notified of a new missed test and learning he missed two tests before joining the team in 2010.

''Mr. Rasmussen missed a test and additionally did not inform the team,'' HTC-Highroad team manager Rolf Aldag said. ''These are clear violations of the team's code of conduct. We act on these violations immediately.''

With HTC-Highroad soon to fold, the 27-year-old Rasmussen was expected to join the Garmin-Cervelo team in 2012.

''Our policy is stringent,'' Garmin-Cervelo said in a statement. ''In light of this situation, Alex Rasmussen will not be joining our team.''

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