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.
Tony has been editing cycling magazines and websites since 1997 starting out as production editor and then deputy editor of Total Bike, acting editor of Total Mountain Bike and then seven years as editor of Cycling Plus. He launched his first cycling website - the Cycling Plus Forum at the turn of the century. In 2006 he left C+ to head up the launch team for Bike Radar which he edited until 2008, when he co-launched the multi-award winning road.cc - which he continues to edit today. His favourite ride is his ‘commute’ - which he does most days inc weekends and he’s been cycle-commuting since 1994. His favourite bikes are titanium and have disc brakes.