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French panel to examine Tom Boonen's Tour ban


Latest update : 2009-07-02

The French Court of Arbitration for Sport today examines the case of former world champion Tom Boonen, who has been banned from next month’s Tour de France after twice testing positive for cocaine. A sentence is expected before the Tour's start.

REUTERS - Former world champion Tom Boonen's appeal to take part in the Tour de France will be examined on Thursday, the French Court of Arbitration for Sport said on Wednesday.

The Belgian launched a court case against organiser Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) when it decided he could not start the Tour after testing positive for cocaine, but a judge  said she could not rule on the matter, sending it before an arbitration panel of the French Olympic Committee on Tuesday.

"The file will be examined on Thursday and everything will be done so that we can make a decision before the start of the Tour," said a spokesperson for the French Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The 28-year-old Boonen, who won the world championship in 2005, failed an out-of-competition test for cocaine in April, his second offence in 12 months after testing positive for the same substance last year.

He missed last year's Tour following his first failed test.

This year, he was suspended by his Quick Step team before returning to racing last month.

An out-of-competition positive test for cocaine does not carry an automatic sanction, according to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules.

Date created : 2009-07-02