GOURETTE, France (AP) _ Tour de France leader Michael Rasmussen
has been removed from the race.
Rasmussen's team spokesman tells The Associated Press the Danish
rider has been sent home for violating the team's internal rules.
The move is a devastating blow to cycling's premier event which
has been rocked by a series of doping scandals.
The 33-year-old Rasmussen won Wednesday's stage and appeared set to win the race, which ends Sunday in Paris.
The expulsion was ordered by the Dutch team sponsor and is
linked to ``incorrect'' information that Rasmussen gave to the
team's sports director over his whereabouts last month. Rasmussen
missed random drug tests May eighth and June 28th.
With Rasmussen out, Spanish rider Alberto Contador
(KOHN'-tuh-dor) would move into the race lead.