June 10, 2008 (Brussels, Belgium) — Tom Boonen (Quick Step) tested positive for cocaine during an out-of-competition control on May 26 reports AFP. Although the former world champion has now been banned from the Tour of Switzerland, further sporting sanctions are unlikely.
A spokesman for the Belgian Regional Sports Minster stated that although the affair is under investigation, no suspensions will be asked for against the 27 year-old sprinter. Similarly, the UCI indicated that no suspension is likely because neither UCI nor World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules stipulate a suspension for an out-of-competition positive cocaine test. However, Boonen could face legal sanctions in Belgium of up to five years in jail and fines of up to 100,000 euros (Cdn $155,000).
“˜Tornado’ Tom Boonen was also in the news last week for speeding in his car and driving under the influence of alcohol. It is also rumoured that he might be switching to French-based Bouygues Telecom team.
Boonen’s name has apparently been recently removed from the start list for tomorrow’s Dutch Food Valley Classic Veenendaal as posted on the Quick Step website. Additionally, a notice on the team website indicates that Boonen and the team will be making an announcement tomorrow (Wednesday).
For more on this story AFP, CP, Quick Step