Tom Boonen has added his voice to the number of riders publicly commenting on Chris Froome's salbutamol case. The Belgian suggested that despite recording twice the legal dose allowed of salbutamol, "it doesn't let you win the Vuelta or the Tour de France".
Froome returned an adverse analytical finding for salbutamol during the 2017 Vuelta a Espana, a race he won overall, with a resolution of his case yet to be finalised. The Briton made his 2018 racing debut earlier in the month at the Ruta del Sol. Speaking at the Spanish race, Froome thanked his fellow riders for their support. Belgian's Tim Wellens and Oliver Naesen though were critical of Froome's presence in the race. A number of other riders have also expressed for a quick resolution to the case.
Speaking to Sporza in Kortrijk over the 'opening weekend' in his first outing in his new official role with Lotto Soudal, Boonen explained the Froome situation is 'not good for anything'.
"Everybody has an opinion on Froome. Everybody was waiting for something to happen. Then this happens. It's a small incident, really, I think but I haven't been following it closely," Boonen told Sporza. "You can say what you want but it doesn't let you win the Vuelta or the Tour de France. They were all waiting for a stick to beat. Sky was the team with a certain image and that creates envy. Then this came. It's a road without an end. It's not good for anything."
During the interview with Sporza, Boonen was also asked about his one-time teammate Lance Armstrong in the 2002 season on U.S. Postal Service. Armstrong has been invited as a guest by the Tour of Flanders, a race he rode three times in his career.
Asked his thoughts of the organisers inviting Armstrong, Boonen said it was "unnecessary" to have the American attend.
"He certainly has his spot in cycling. He's in the history books, be it good or bad," he added. "Just like other riders who are in the books - I'm not naming them - but they're in there. He's in there and you can't erase that. I don't think it's up to the Ronde van Vlaanderen to bring Lance over and put him on a podium and in a car.
"To me, he's served his time. He's probably been punished more than all the others, who probably deserved a punishment too but that was probably due to his personality. I don't think it's up to the Ronde van Vlaanderen to be on the forefront to integrate Armstrong back into the cycling world."
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