Boonen may face UCI sanctions, Tour organizers clarify position
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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Boonen may face UCI sanctions, Tour organizers clarify position

by VeloNation Press at 5:12 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
In a statement released by the Union Cyclist International, the governing body of the sport said, "Following the control conducted by the Flemish authorities on the Belgian rider Tom Boonen, which revealed the use of cocaine, the UCI President Pat McQuaid has decided to refer the matter to the UCI Disciplinary Commission.

"The behaviour of Tom Boonen, even though it does not constitute a violation of the anti-doping rules, can be considered unacceptable (Art. 1.2.079) and liable to harm the image, reputation or interests of cycling or the UCI (Art. 12.1.005).

"This infringement is punishable by a suspension of 1-6 months."

As if the bad news from the UCI wasn't enough, the organizers of the Tour de France have clarified their position with respect to Boonen's appearance in the race this July.

"It's obviously impossible for Tom Boonen to start the Tour," Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme said of his participation in this years race.

"The most important thing for him, as it was said, particularly by his team, is to look after himself and to think about his future as a person, rather than thinking about sport."

This new information refutes earlier statements by Prudhomme that seemed to put the choice in the hands of doctors and Quick-Step team management.

As it stands, the only official action that has been taken against the 28-year-old is an indefinite suspension from his team.

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