Only weeks after winning his third Paris Roubaix, former world champion Tom Boonen has been suspended by his team, Quick Step after a drugs test by Flemish authorities proved positive for cocaine use.
"He is suspended from all activities by the team," Alessandro Tegner, a Quick Step's representative said.
Boonen also failed a drugs test last year for cocaine and subesequently missed the Tour de France when Quick Step withdrew him from their team because when race organisers made it clear that his presence would not be welcomed. That failed test lead to Boonen being charged with possession of cocaine, he was found guilty by a Belgian court in February but declined to impose a criminal sanction.
However, it seems that the Belgian authorities' interest in Boonen did not end there. According to Jan Poels, a public prosecutor in the northeast Belgian town of Turnhout, this latest test followed a search of Boonen's home at the end of April in connection with a drugs investigation. He declined to say what drugs were being looked for and if any had been found.
Boonen wasn't named in Quick Step's team to race the Giro d'Italia.
Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.