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Belgian police "visits" Tom Boonen

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25.01.2008/ Belgian police officers visited the home of Tom Boonen's parents yesterday. According to Belgian daily newspaper 'Gazet van Antwerpen' the police wanted to talk with Tom Boonen after cross rider Tom Vannopen mentioned Boonen during an interrogation earlier this week.

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Tom Boonen ( Cyclingheroes)

On Wednesday Belgian police "visited" the home of Tom Boonen's parents. According to Belgian daily newspaper 'Gazet van Antwerpen' the police came because of their investigation of the Tom Vannoppen drugs case. Belgian police raided Vannoppen's house last week and according to the Gazet van Antwerpen Vannoppen mentioned Boonen's name during an interrogation. In the past Vannoppen was already linked with cocaine.
 
The Belgian newspaper said the police had a search warrant for the house of Boonen's parents and wanted to question the Belgian sprinter. The state prosecution of Hasselt did not want to comment the case and also did not want to say if they had found something during the raid.
 
The Gazet van Antwerpen said that Quickstep first denied that there was a raid at the house of Boonen's home but yesterday evening team manager Patrick Lefevere confirmed the news. Lefevere told Gazet: "Indeed the investiagtors rang the doorbell at the house of Tom Boone's parents. It was not a real police raid, they were let in and asked Tom a few questions. The reason was indeed a statement by Tom Vannoppen. First the investigators wanted to know if Tom was living there. That's not the case but Tom told them he is staying there regularly."
 
Lefevere continued by saying: "He had adequate answers to all questions that were asked about it. The whole thing didn't take longer then half an hour. After that the investigators just left. Actually its not a big issue."
 
Update 11:30 (CET)
 
Quickstep team manager Patrick Lefevere told sporza.be: "Well I only can say that its a private investigation. As a team we we want to distance ourselves from this case."
 
Update 14:30 (CET)
 
During a press conference this morning prosectuter Marc Ruben said he was irritated that the information about the search was made public: "This way the image of the rider has been damaged, perhaps undeservedly so." Vannoppen tested positive for cocain and told the investigators that Tom Boonen was his drugs dealer. Vannoppen and Boonen often train together and  therefore know each other very well. But Vannoppen denied to sporza.be that he told that Boonen was his dealer. According to Ruben there is no proof and that the investigators found nothing during the raid at Boonen's parents house.
 
Tom Boonen is in Qatar at the moment, the state prosecution want to confront Vannoppen and Boonen as soon as Boonen will return from Qatar.

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