Tom Boonen of Quick Step did not have an easy season, missing the Tour de France due to testing positive for cocaine in an out-of-competition test. His year ended on an equally low point, when he couldn't win the World Championships and finished 10th in Paris-Tours.
Despite the drawbacks, Boonen thinks he can come back even stronger. "2008 wasn't an easy season, but I have learned a lot," Boonen said in an interview with the Belgian TV programme, Sportweekend.
As to the charges about his alleged cocaine consumption, he answered simply, "I can't say much, the investigation is still running. But where the cocaine came from, I do not know. Was I tricked? I don't know."
"I am just a normal person, and sometimes even a very weak person," Boonen continued. "But I am completely strong in what I do - my sport."
Regarding the latest illegal doping product to hit the peloton, CERA, Boonen noted that "I had never heard of it." He said it was good that "they start to catch" the riders using it. "And it is also good that they get them so quickly."
The Quick Step rider noted that he "really thought that I could win the World Championship. That I didn't is not the fault of the other Belgians, but in the first place has to do with me." He made the remarks in an interview with the Belgian TV programme. (SW)