No Tour de Suisse For Boonen

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10.06.2008/Flemish anti-doping authorities, WADA and the state prosecution of Turnhout confirmed this morning Tom Boonen (Quickstep) tested positive for cocain. The winner of this years edition of Paris - Roubaix was interrogated by investigators and the houses of Boonen's parents and his girlfriend were searched by Belgian police. If its up to the UCI Boonen can start next Saturday's Tour de Suisse, but race organiser Armin Meier says the Belgian rider will not start.

© Cyclingheroes
Tom Boonen tested positive for cocain. ( Cyclingheroes)

Today the state prosecution of Turnhout, WADA and Flemish anti-doping authorities confirmed the report. Last night Belgian police searched the houses of Boonen's parents and his girlfriend Lore. It was the second time Belgian police searched the house of Boonen's parents. Belgian authorities said this morning that nothing was found during the search.

Boonen was not arrested but the winner of this years Paris - Roubaix was interrogated by investigators. Spokesperson of the state prosecution of Turnhout, Inge Delissen did not want to comment Boonen's interrogation. Delissen said: "We don't give information about the content of his statements."

Delissen explained why the state prosecution of Turnhout starved an investigation. Quickstep informed the magistrat of Gent about the positive test, a normal procedure in Belgium. "The state prosecution of Turnhout then started an investigation for suspected position of cocain by Tom Boonen," Delissen said.

The Belgian Cycling Federation (KBWB) said it can't ban Boonen for his positive test. WADA and UCI rules say that athletes can't be banned for using recreational drugs in times they are out of competition. Boonen did not race for several weeks as he was tested and his first race was three days after his positive test.

"That's how the rules are," president of the Belgian Cycling federation, Laurent De Backer told However De Backer says Boonen could be banned from next months Tour de France. "It could very well be that they refuse Boonen," De Backer said. "Race organiser ASO earlier refused the Astana team"“ De Backer concluded with: "You have to see this in the right zeitgeist. If you put everybody who uses cocain on the 'Grote Markt' [Market sqaure, editor] in Brussels it wouldn't be big enough. In the old days they sometimes drunk to much, nowadays they take drugs."

Boonen's preparation for the Tour is already in danger. UCI spokesperson Enrico Carpani confirmed that Boonen can't be banned. Caprapni told "The same positive result one day for competition would have meant a ban." Carpani explained: "Its not about an UCI test, but one from the Flemish community and those controls are under the jurisdiction of WADA. According to their.. and our.. rules are three days before competition equal with 'out of competition'." If its up to the UCI Boonen can start next Saturday's Tour de Suisse, but race organiser Armin Meier says the Belgian rider will not start. "There is absolutely no chance that Boonen will start here," said Meier.

Boonen is planning to start at tomorrows Veenendaal – Veendaal (Netherlands). But its unclear if Quickstep will allow him to start. The Belgian Pro-Tour team did not give an official reaktion yet. Quickstep's spokesperson Alessandro Tegner said: "We are putting all elements where our rider is confronted with together. We ask the media a little more time to think about it. We will give our point of view after a solid evaluation." A reaction from the Quickstep team is expected later today or tomorrow.

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