Rabobank director resigns 10 days after ousting Rasmussen
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands -- The general director of the Rabobank cycling team resigned Friday, 10 days after he dismissed Michael Rasmussen from the squad while he was leading the Tour de France.
Theo de Rooij has "decided to step down, in consultation with the Rabobank," the team said in a statement.
De Rooij dismissed the Danish cyclist while he was leading in the final stages of the Tour for allegedly lying about his whereabouts to evade doping tests. Rasmussen, who has denied the accusations, missed random drug tests in May and June.
"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. "Rabobank understands and respects this decision."
After riding for Rabobank 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 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 supervisory board for Netherlands' national cycling association.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
MORE OLYMPICS HEADLINES
- Durant, USA pull away from Spain to win gold
- Clippers' Paul has successful surgery on thumb
- Schmitt back to school after Olympic stardom
- Olympian Raisman, Poland Spring sign deal
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
The 2007 Tour de France could not escape without being rocked by scandal. Several riders, including race leader Michael Rasmussen, have been ousted from cycling's premier event due to doping and suspicion. Here is ESPN.com's complete coverage:NEWS
• Rasmussen returns to cycling in Denmark
• Rabobank director resigns after ousting Rasmussen
• Expert: Documents show Contador doped
• Astana cycling won't race in August
• Sinkewitz fired by team after refusing test
• Report: Spanish rider Mayo tests positive for EPO
• Vinokourov fired by Astana after positive test
• Rasmussen denies he used doping
• Vinokourov's 'B' sample confirms blood doping
• Tour de France owner calls on UCI chief to resign
• Landis lawyers to defend Vinokourov, Astana team
• Rasmussen vows return to professional cycling
• Cyclist Wiggins says '07 Tour 'null and void'
• Officials question cycling's worth as Olympic sport
• Tour boss accuses UCI of violating anti-doping rule
• Team ousts race leader Rasmussen from Tour
• Moreni fails doping test; Vino says he's innocent
• Vinokourov tests positive for blood transfusion
• Teams undergo 'routine' customs checks
• Tour leader Rasmussen erred in testing rules
• Sinkewitz asks for B sample
• T-Mobile's Sinkewitz flunks doping test
• Tour leader, 24 others test negative
BONNIE DESIMONE'S TAKE
• Tour's openness its strength, downfall
• Vino news stuns cycling's 'Honest Guy'
• A failure to communicate
• Rasmussen drama creates more questions
• Officials can test blood, not cyclist's conscience BOBBY JULICH DIARY
• More testing, on and off the road
• Vinokourov news is hard for me to take
• More doping? I just don't get it
• If Rasmussen at fault, why is he at Tour? MORE ANALYSIS
• Kreidler: Are we really surprised?
• Caple: At least the scenery is still spectacular
• Timeline: Past Tour scandals SPORTSNATION
• Vote: Do you think cycling can be saved?
• ESPN.com Tour de France coverage