Museeuw and Merckx support Boonen

Former Belgian cycling stars Johan Museeuw and Eddy Merckx are standing behind Tom Boonen. "Boonen...

Former Belgian cycling stars Johan Museeuw and Eddy Merckx are standing behind Tom Boonen. "Boonen was God. Within 24 hours he has become a target," Museeuw said in Het Laatste Nieuws. "Now he faces a trying time. I know it, I have been there myself."

Museeuw noted that "the story that I used doping at the end of my career will always follow me. Tom must now also live with that. Fortunately, Tom gets a second chance, but this is just the beginning of the storm."

The 1996 World Champion said he had ben surprised to hear that Boonen had used cocaine. "I thought that Boonen had a strong character, but today he proves that he is also just a man. I do not understand how an athlete who has the character to win Paris-Roubaix can't withstand that temptation."

Meanwhile, Eddy Merckx noted that, "Everybody has the right to a second chance," according to the Gazet van Antwerpen "If he gets in trouble a second time, then a punishment would be correct. But who of us does not make a mistake?"

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