Tom Boonen wins in court... and Qatar

Court says missing Tour was punishment enough

by Tony Farrelly   February 3, 2009  

Tom Boonen, Het Volk 2007 © DarkSideX [Wiki Commons]

Charges against Cyclist Tom Boonen relating to a positive test for cocaine use were today dropped by a Belgian court on the basis that he had “been punished enough”. The Quick-Step rider reacted to the news by winning tuesday's stage of the Tour of Qatar, landing himself the leader's jersey in the race.

Boonen landed in trouble after an out of competition doping control last June confirmed cocaine use – the coke bust cost Boonen his place in the 2008 Tour de France. The court decided his exclusion from the Tour was a big enough penalty. Boonen undoubtedly lost out financially by not being at the Tour and by being forced to ride in lesser races during the season.

 As a result of the failed dope test he faced a criminal investigation for cocaine possession which can carry a jail term in Belgium and also a large fine. The rider is a massive star in Belgium – where he has been compared to the cycling equivalent of David Beckham, and given his status the outcome of the case was not a surprise.

When the dope test was first made public Boonen apologised to fans but has never admitted taking cocaine – he has never denied it either.

Boonen is currently riding the Tour of Qatar with his Quick-Step team. Talking to the Associated Press after the court gave out its verdict Quick-Step directeur sportif, Patrick Lefevere said: "Tom has been punished in public and financially. We hope it has been a lesson for him,"

7 user comments

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I have to say that I thought that Tom Boonen was a bigger star than even David Beckham, but to be bigger than David Buckram is really quite an achievement!

Complicating matters since 1965

DaSy's picture

posted by DaSy [648 posts]
3rd February 2009 - 14:02

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 don't think he's as big as Buckram

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4135 posts]
3rd February 2009 - 14:06

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just in case he was a megastar and I made myself look like a plum; spell check always changes my surname (Hartwell)to Hurtle, I might deedpoll my name to Simon Hurtle to fit in better....

Complicating matters since 1965

DaSy's picture

posted by DaSy [648 posts]
3rd February 2009 - 14:12

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Once went through a spellcheck and the first alternative offered was 'Fart'.

I don't mourn too much when Micorsoft Word did for WordPerfect back in the early Nineties. 

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4135 posts]
3rd February 2009 - 14:16

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WordPerfect? Pah. Newbie. WordStar was the one true word processor...

Guy Swarbrick
swarbrick.com

gswarbrick on twitter

posted by gswarbrick [3 posts]
3rd February 2009 - 15:38

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 Never had a problem with Wordstar "Farmhouse" was as offensive as it got…

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posted by Tony Farrelly [4135 posts]
3rd February 2009 - 16:15

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Protext on the Amstrad CPC6128. Now THAT was a word processor. [leans back, smokes pipe, fondly remembers the good old days of chuckie egg and head over heels]

purplecup's picture

posted by purplecup [232 posts]
3rd February 2009 - 16:26

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