AFP - Top Belgian cyclist Tom Boonen has been told that all criminal charges relating to his use of cocaine will be dropped if he pays a 1000 euro fine, the public prosecutor in Turnhout said Wednesday.
The court said if Boonen, a former world champion and Tour de France stage winner who is a specialist in the Belgian one-day classics, paid the fine the case would be closed.
"We consider Boonen as just another consumer of drugs, not as a famous sportsman of whom an example should be made," the public prosecutor was quoted as saying in Het Nieuwsblad newspaper.
Cocaine, although illegal, is not considered a performance-enhancing drug and both of Boonen's tests were not carried out by the sporting authorities.
He first tested positive in April 2008, ruling him out of last year's Tour de France.
His second positive test was in May 2009, which also ruled him out of the world's biggest race until he was granted a shock eleventh hour reprieve.