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…But Boonen (Likely) Won’t be at Tour de France

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Boonen winning the 2009 Paris Roubaix

Belgian QuickStep rider Tom Boonen has been banned from competing in the Tour de France according to  Tour organizers ASO.

After testing positive for cocaine in April (which was the 2nd positive test for that in a year), the ASO said “the Tour de France, having spoken to representatives from his QuickStep team, can only note that the image and the behaviour of Tom Boonen are incompatible with the image of the Tour de France and the image that such an exceptional champion should try to display.”

Boonen and QuickStep will have the right to appeal, and the UCI had said earlier in the month that they would not be able to take disciplinary action prior to the Tour de France, which technically would free Boonen to race.  Belgian Cycling Federation president Laurent De Backer called the ASO’s decision regrettable given that the alleged drug ingestion was done outside of competition.

As of today, his team said they are reviewing their legal options to reverse the ASO’s decision, despite claims a month ago that they would not “embarrass themselves” again by pleading Boonen’s case like they did in 2008.

More on this here and here.

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