Thursday, June 12, 2008

Password: NoTourTom, Get's you in the backdoor for the Best Blow in the Pro Tour! Just slow down....

Belgium's Tom Boonen, who has tested positive for cocaine, will not be starting next month's Tour de France, race director Christian Prudhomme told AFP on Wednesday.
The news came shortly after Boonen issued an apology, saying he was sorry for the pain his recent behavior has caused his team and his family. Boonen read a prepared statement at a press conference at his Quick Step team’s headquarters in Wielsbeke, Belgium, adding that he plans to take a break from the sport for a short time.
While not directly admitting use of cocaine, Boonen appeared contrite; the 27-year-old, who is something of a superstar in his native Belgium, conceded he is “not perfect.”
Boonen has been the subject of two investigations regarding alleged cocaine use after cyclocrosser Tom Vanoppen tested positive for the drug in January and told police he had received it from the Quick Step sprinter. He also recently lost his driver’s license after two separate traffic stops for speeding, the most recent of which also showed a blood alcohol level beyond the legal limit.
"I'm not going to defend myself here today, but I hurt my family, my friends and my team and I apologize," said Boonen, who also has been barred from competing in the Tour of Switzerland starting on Saturday.
"I've been in the news recently in a negative way. I'm not perfect and I'll accept the consequences. I am now going to get some rest and I can count on the confidence of my team. I hope that the fans will continue to support me. They will soon be able to count on my unreserved commitment."

Boonen shared the spotlight with team manager Patrick Lefevere, who said the team "maintains its confidence" in Boonen.
"It wouldn't be intelligent to act hastily," he added.
Race director Prudhomme was unmoved, however.
"As far as we are concerned, Tom Boonen is automatically ruled out of the Tour de France as soon as the information concerning his case has been confirmed,” he said, adding that he had spoken to Boonen and Lefevere to inform them of his decision.
Lefevere made an effort to distinguish his star rider’s behavior from the "real doping problems," which have occurred in the Tour in recent years, noting that Boonen’s difficulties were of a "private" nature.
And then he tried to miss a cat and smashed his $500,000 Euro-Lambo... How's that song go? Things Can Only Get Better, or On The Sunny Side Of The Street?
One of those - Anyway, Tom I'll see ya tonight - wink (;{0>

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