Lefevere convinced racing will help Boonen
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Friday, May 15, 2009

Lefevere convinced racing will help Boonen

by Steve Jones at 2:05 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping, Opinion
 

Quick-Step manager Patrick Lefevere feels that not only strict monitoring and therapy sessions will help his Belgian star recover from his cocaine problem, but so will getting back to doing what he loves most - racing his bike.

For the time being, the biggest hurtle to clear seems to be Tom Boonen's upcoming disciplinary hearing with the International Cycling Union's (UCI). The rider could be sanctioned for up to six months, which would essentially end his season just as it was beginning.

While it is certainly self-serving for Lefevere to say he thinks his top rider should return to competition as soon as possible, but one would have to admit that doing so would help return the rider to a sense of normalcy, which is likely what his therapists would prescribe. For a man like Boonen, training and racing is normal, and down time is what seems to have gotten him in trouble in the first place.

Now whether the UCI will agree with that is another story. Certainly they would like to make an example of the situation, especially for a big name like Boonen. But perhaps they'll take the approach of a warning while they work to add a new procedure that will set a course of action when a rider tests positive for recreational drugs. Something to help prevent cyclists from bringing themselves to ruin by way of powder.

This could be something where the Association of Professional Cyclists (CPA) could work in conjunction with the UCI to make sure riders that need help get the help they need before the warning signs turn into scandal.

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