Cycling: Rasmussen claims 5.6 mln euros from Rabobank

Danish rider Michael Rasmussen is claiming unfair dismissal and 5.6 million euros ($7.3 million, £4.8 million) in damages and interest from his former team Rabobank after he was sacked in 2007, a report said on Thursday.

The Dutch news agency ANA said the cyclist told a tribunal in the Netherlands that team managers were "aware of doping practices" and as a result concluded that his dismissal was not justified.

At a previous court hearing in 2008, Rasmussen was awarded 665,000 euros in unpaid wages but he appealed the ruling, claiming that the sum was insufficient.

Rasmussen was thrown off the 2007 Tour de France when he was wearing the leader's yellow jersey for having lied about his whereabouts before the race in order to escape out-of-competition dope tests.

He said he was in Mexico while in fact he was in France and Italy.

The Dane later admitted that he lied to the International Cycling Union (UCI) governing body, which oversees drug testing, and that a number of his team-mates were aware of his real whereabouts. He was given a two-year ban.

At a tribunal in Arnhem on Thursday, a former doctor for Rabobank backed up Rasmussen's claims, ANA reported.

The 38-year-old, who twice won the polka dot jersey for best climber in 2005 and 2006, recently announced an end to his career and admitted that he used banned performance-enhancing drugs over 12 years.