ASO has not ruled out allowing Boonen in the Tour
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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

ASO has not ruled out allowing Boonen in the Tour

by VeloNation Press at 7:16 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Doping
 
It was nearly a year ago when Belgian cyclist Tom Boonen was prevented from riding the Tour de France because of his first publicly announced positive test for the recreational drug cocaine.

Even though the positive came from an out of competition test and the drug is not on the banned list meaning there would be no doping sanctions, organizers of the Tour de France, the Amaury Sports Organization (ASO), would not let the rider compete in their race due to the fallout from doping controversies the previous year.

Oddly enough Germany's Stefan Schumacher, one of the riders who tested positive for CERA in retroactive tests, was allowed to compete despite having tested positive for amphetamines the previous year. Before being caught, the German would go on to wear the yellow jersey and win both time trials where he shocked the cycling world by "beating" favorite Fabian Cancellara.

The ASO said they have not yet made a decision about the possibility of Tom Boonen's participation in this year's race, and seem to have left the door open - at least partially - for a start come July.

The ASO told Sporza, "The ball is in Quick-Step's camp. We don't need to decide on Tom Boonen at this time. It is Quick-Step who will decide when Boonen will rejoin the peloton.

"Last year we kept him out of the Tour but that is not currently an issue. Boonen is in therapy and his doctors will decide when he is healed."

Quick-Step management has already stated that they will not embarrass themselves as they did last year by trying to plea the rider's case. But it appears as if organizers may be leaving the door open because the rider is seeking treatment, so he may be able to go for his second green jersey after all.
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