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ASO, Quick Step yields nothing for Boonen

Belgium's Tom Boonen

Belgium's Tom Boonen (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Quick Step team manager Patrick Lefevere and sponsor CEO Frans De Cock met with Tour de France organisers Monday to discuss the possibility of Tom Boonen being allowed to ride the Tour. Team and sponsor Quick Step did their best to convince the Tour de France to accept Tom Boonen, but to no avail.

Tour boss Christian Prudhomme acknowledge that Boonen's positive test for cocaine was not a sporting violation, "but the Boonen case could damage the integrity of the Tour and of the participating teams." The Tour had earlier announced that the Belgian sprinter would not be welcome at the Tour.

"They didn't say yes and they didn't say no," Lefevere reported. "We were well received and had a good discussion.

"The important thing is that they listened to use," he added. "We told them how it works in Flanders. But they had their arguments, too. We have no deadline for a decision."

At his press conference last week, Boonen said that he would take a short break from racing. Short was the right description, since he is starting in the Ster Elektrotoer today. However, the team issued a press release Monday evening, saying, that "in light of the events involving Tom Boonen over the past few days, the Quick Step team informs that the rider will not be speaking to the press during the Ster Elektrotoer order to avoid any speculation and misunderstandings."

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