During a visit to the cycloparc, an operation promoting cycling to kids, in Besançon, Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme said that the Amaury Sport Organization (ASO) will follow the International Cycling Union's (UCI) decision regarding the out-of-competition positive cocaine test of Tom Boonen.
The Belgian star is currently allowed to race and will start the Dauphiné Libéré on Sunday. Whether Boonen will face any disciplinary action for his positive test is still to be determined by the UCI.
"We totally agree with the president of the UCI [Pat McQuaid], who said that Boonen – who certainly needs help – has tarnished the image of cycling," said Prudhomme. "Therefore, it seems logical to us that the disciplinary commission of the UCI will make a decision prior to the Tour de France, and we'll follow this decision."
Last month, Prudhomme said something different – that "it's of course impossible that Boonen could be at the start of the Tour de France."
The different approach comes after the Belgian star and his entourage threatened legal action. Prudhomme's latest statement brings ASO's approach in harmony with the UCI's. Therefore, if Boonen is not suspended by the UCI or if the organization makes no decision by July 4, Boonen will be able to ride the Tour de France.
The UCI is unable to ban Boonen for the positive out-of-competition cocaine test; however, it could ban him for an offense to the image of cycling.