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Breaking: Boonen Positive?

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Tuesday, 10 June, Confirmed. The online edition of Velonews confirms the story that Boonen has tested positive for cocaine in an out of competition test conducted three days prior to the Tour of Belgium. Velonews cites confirmation from WADA and the Flemish cycling authorities. The Flemish criminal authorities are investigating the case, but have so far found nothing incriminating, despite searches conducted at Boonen's parent's house. In an odd twist, Boonen may not face sporting sanctions, because cocaine is banned only in competition. There is no ban on using cocaine out of competition currently on the books. Boonen's Quickstep team has not yet commented on the story, though Velonews does report the possible transfer of Boonen to Bweeg, a story that originated at l'equipe.

UCI Spokesman, Enrico Carpani: "It is not a violation of the antidoping code, because caocaine does not represent a prohibited substance in case of a test taken outside competition. There is a time limit for considering a test to be in competition. And if the control comes three days before a race, the control is considered out of competition. If one took cocaine the first day of a race, then, the result would be a positive." Source, tuttobiciweb. Tuttobiciweb also reports that Boonen was interrogated by the criminal authorities last night, but was not detained.

Eric Boyer, President of AIGCP: "This is an athlete at the highest level, a young man confronted by temptations. It is above all a health problem, before it is a sporting problem... Dopage? The response is yes, if he took cocaine for a competition. If not, we are in another domaine. But these things are complicated when takes into account his stature and fame. Source, l'

The Tour de Suisse has now excluded Boonen from the race, which starts in four days. Source, l'

Monday, 9 June.Het Laatste Nieuws is reporting that Boonen tested positive for cocaine in an out of competition control three days before the Tour of Belgium. According to the story, he was notified by mail last night. A close friend of Boonen's, Tom Vanoppen, was in December accused of possession by the Flemish doping police, and claimed that he received the drugs from Boonen.

HLN is calling this story breaking news, and I have yet to see it elsewhere. I eagerly await further confirmation, or better yet, a denial. Use at your own risk.

Update: According to the story, Boonen also lost his license last week for the second time in recent months after being caught speeding. He was allegedly drunk at the time.

Source, HLN