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
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.