Tom Boonen: "I Have Finished With The Tour."

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23.06.2008/Quickstep's team manager Patrick Lefevere spoke with Belgian daily news 'De Morgen'  about Tom Boonen's positive for cocaine and the way the media are handling the case. Lefevere also said that AFP had taken the ASO announcement about Boonen's Tour exclusion from the website of Belgian TV station VTM. The Quickstep manager said he and ASO agreed that for now both parties would not comment the subject. Tom Boonen told on Saturday:  "I have finished with the [2008, editor] Tour."

© Heinz Zwicky
( Heinz Zwicky)

© Cyclingheroes
Patrick Lefevere: "What do you want?" ( Cyclingheroes)

Quickstep team manager Patrick Lefevere spoke with Belgian daily news 'De Morgen' about the positive test of its star rider Tom Boonen and the way the media are handling the case. Last month Boonen was tested positive for cocaine.

Lefevere said: "I thought a lot about it and I don't find an explanation. I also can't say much. I don't want to harm his defense."

"But maybe the standards have changed," Lefevere said. "At the time I was 15, I smoked a cigarette, that was a mortal sin. The current generation is smoking weed and if they are grown-ups they try cocaine." 

"But would an addict be able to win Paris - Roubaix?" Boonen already had negative headlines before he tested positive. "But those facts were assaulted as well," Lefevere claimed. "Tom received a complaint for high speed and drunk driving." Lefevere continued: "He sat in a wheelchair for three hours to play with children who suffer a muscle disease. After that he went to eat something with his manager, Paul De Geyter and drank a few glasses."

"The newspaper said 0,1 percent. Wrong, it was 0,075. He did drink, but not what they published." Lefevere seems to be annoyed about the Belgian media. "And he drove to fast, but 120 and not 180 kilometres per hour," Lefevere said.

"What do you want?" , asked Lefevere the journalist of 'De Morgen'. "Should Boonen be send on the stake or should he be publicly lashed?", Lefevere added.

Lefevere don't want to compare Boonen with Frank Vandenbroucke. "Boonen did not race with a French team and was never late at an appointment. VDB came into trouble after he left us. I have read Frank's book and I didn't even know a couple of things."

"Museeuw? That is a different case. Read all my interviews. I said: I hope he will not race one year too much. Museeuw has fallen on his head, I mean literally [Museeuw had an accident with his motorbike, editor] and after that I saw a change in his character. All three of them [Boonen, VDB and Museeuw, editor]thought they were untouchable."

© Cyclingheroes
Tom Boonen: "I have finished with the [2008, editor] Tour." ( Cyclingheroes)

Lefevere continued: "Which risk there is for the team? That the good elements will leave and the apple-polisher will stay. And Tom Boonen will keep a serious scar."

About Boonen's possible exclusion for the Tour, Lefevere said: "I asked ASO for a week time but Tour director Christian Prudhomme said he was followed even into his garage and that nowadays they have to either express their point of view in 24 hours time or they have no life anymore."  

Lefevere continued: "When I was in Paris to discuss the matter I agreed with ASO not to comment. Suddenly Agence France Presse comes with a report that its Njet: No Tom Boonen in the Tour." Lefevere added: "Do you know where they got their information from? From the VTM (Belgian TV station) website. And so it comes back as 'the truth'. A blowfly that turns 3 rounds in the press room of the Tour comes out as an elephant."

Asked if there still is a chance for Boonen to start the Tour, Lefevere said: "I won't comment that. ASO did not communicate yet and I won't communicate either. That's what we agreed upon."

Tom Boonen himself spoke with after he had won fridays stage in the Ster Elektrotoer. According to the Belgian based website Boonen said: "I have finished with the [2008, editor] Tour. I have accepted it." Boonen said he tries to see it positive. The former UCI Road World Champion said: "I will completely focus myself on the fall and the World Championships in Varese. Those goals are at least as beautiful as the Tour."

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