11 Jun 2009

Boonen should be able to ride Le Tour

11:35 am on 11 June 2009

The Belgian cycling star Tom Boonen has been given a chance to compete in next month's Tour de France despite a recent second positive test for cocaine.

Quick Step star Boonen, the winner of major one-day classics and Tour de France stages, sparked controversy last month when it was revealed he had tested positive for cocaine for the second time in a year.

It led to immediate calls for him to be banned from this year's showcase event, and the sport's ruling body the UCI is set to launch disciplinary proceedings against Boonen for bringing the sport into disrepute.

However the UCI says they won't be able to complete such a disciplinary process before the Tour next month, meaning that Boonen, "according to the regulations", is free to race in the Tour.

The Belgian star is currently racing the Dauphine Libere in France, a major warm-up for the Tour de France.