De Rooy quits Tour shame team

Aug 5, 2007 - 3:33 PM Special to PA SportsTicker

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (Ticker) - Theo de Rooy has stepped down from his role as general director of the Rabobank team, which was at the centre of controversy at the Tour de France.

Rabobank's Michael Rasmussen was sacked by his team while leading the Tour.

De Rooy said on "This farewell is hard, really hard. The team - it is all the world to me. But I did not see another choice."

Rasmussen had been criticized for failing to disclose to the necessary anti-doping bodies his whereabouts in the build-up to the Tour, but initially continued to race with the support of his team.

However, a remark by an Italian TV presenter, who talked of meeting Rasmussen in Italy before the Tour, rekindled the affair.

The meeting, which Rasmussen denies took place, would have occurred at a time when the rider was supposed to be in Mexico.

Rabobank decided to sever its ties with the Dane, who was removed from the Tour while still in possession of the yellow jersey and looking certain to win the race.

Rasmussen criticized De Rooy following the sacking.

"Now that (Tour) victory has been stolen from me" he said "And it's no secret I'm furious at Rabobank's manager, Theo de Rooy. The decision was taken by him and him alone."

Rabobank said De Rooy's departure had been agreed by mutual consent.

A statement said: "Theo De Rooy has decided, in consultation with Rabobank, to step down as general director of the Rabobank cycling teams.

"After the disappointments of the Tour de France, De Rooy wishes to have the time and rest to consider the future. Rabobank understands and respects this decision."

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