French judge not competent in Boonen affair

No decision over Tour participation from court

The civil court of Nanterre, France, has declared itself not competent to rule on the case between the Belgian Quick Step team and Tour de France organiser, ASO. The two parties are at odds over the participation of Tom Boonen in the race starting this Saturday.

The team wants its roster to be captained by the newly-crowned Belgian champion, but ASO refuses Boonen because of his recent problems with cocaine.

Boonen has tested positive for the drug on three separate out-of-competition tests. Cocaine is only illegal if detected during competition, according to the World Anti Doping Agency's (WADA) list of banned substances.  Despite Boonen's positives occurring out-of-competition, ASO decided that his inclusion would not be in the best interests of the Tour de France's image.

Quick Step had asked the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Nanterre to decide over the affair, but on Tuesday morning, the judge who heard both parties last Thursday has declared himself not competent to do so. This means there will be no verdict from the civil court at this point.

Quick Step and Boonen have decided to ask the French Olympic Committee court (CNOSF) make a ruling. A court date is expected soon.

Time may be running out for Boonen as the Tour start in Monaco is only four days.

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