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Lefevere threatens Tour de France with legal action

By:
Susan Westemeyer
Published:
June 17, 2009, 11:36,
Updated:
June 17, 2009, 14:29
Edition:
Latest Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Patrick Lefevere (left) wants confirmation from Tour de France organisers on Boonen

Patrick Lefevere (left) wants confirmation from Tour de France organisers on Boonen

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Quick Step team boss presses for Boonen's inclusion

Patrick Lefevere of Quickstep has threatened to take the Tour de France organisers to court if they do not announce today that Tom Boonen will be allowed to ride in the race. The Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO) said that it would have no comment on the matter.

After Boonen tested positive again for cocaine use out of competition, the ASO said that he would not be welcome in the race. The UCI has said that it thinks Boonen ought to be allowed to start. The ASO has said that it will abide by the decision of the UCI's disciplinary committee, which will hold a hearing on the Belgian sprinter, but not until after the Tour has started. The French group said that it did not know when it would announce its decision as to Boonen's appearance.

"Words, nothing but words," Lefevere told the Gazet van Antwerpen. "I want to see it on paper, officially. Tom was not officially declared positive, so he can not be punished."

Lefevere indicated that he would sue the ASO for damages if Boonen is not allowed to ride. "The sporting and economic damage to the team and the sponsors from Tom's absence in the biggest race of the year are incalculable."