Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme himself announced the news that
race organiser A.S.O. banned Tom Boonen from this years edition of the Tour. Prudhomme said he had spoken with Boonen and
Quickstep's team manager Patrick Lefevere before A.S.O. took the decision.
Prudhomme said: "We will not allow Tom Boonen to start the Tour when the reports
about him are confirmed." Prudhomme continued: "This is not a case about perfomance enhancing drugs, but a case from a society
adrift, which is going beyond sports. Tom Boonen is a great champion but a great champion also has to act as a role model."
Earlier today Boonen apologized for his behaviour during a press confernce. "I heard the press conference this morning," Prudhomme said. Prudhomme did not shut the door for future editions of Le Tour.
"Everybody makes mistakes," Prudhomme concluded.
After A.S.O. earlier decided not to invite the Astana team with last years Tour winner Alberto
Contador and the number 3 overall, Levi Leipheimer, this years edition of the French stage race will only have two riders
on the startlist, who were on the podium at last years Tour. Barloworld's Mauricio Soler will defend his polka-dot jersey
and Silence Lotto's Cadel Evans (last years number two overall) will fight for overall vicory in next month's event.