Some Questions We Haven't Heard Asked
If Boonen's OOC test were being done under UCI and WADA prototols, and the finding is not of a type that can produce any disciplinary action, why have we heard about it at all? Who blew the confidentiality of this non-actionable result, before any B sample test could have been requested or performed?
CyclingNews said, "The test results, controlled by the Vlaamse Gemeeenschap (Flemish Community), were confirmed and will be sent to World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the International Cycling Union (UCI)"
Under what authority were these results by Vlaamse Gemeeenschap (VG) provided to the paper that broke the story? If there is an ongoing criminal investigation, details are usually closely held by the authorities for risk of compromising the case.
If the test was done on request of the Flemish Cycling Federation (perhaps prodded by the UCI), is the VG the appropriate anti-doping agency to manage results? If it is hte appropriate agency, what are its obligations under its results management regulations? Is it proper to be passing on results that show metabolites, but not an actual controlled subtance, to criminal investigators? Is it proper for these results to show up in the media?
Another car in the train wreck.
VeloNews late in the day says the ASO will not welcome Boonen a welcome at the Tour. Also at CyclingHeroes, this statement of race director Prudhomme:
"This is not a case about perfomance enhancing drugs, but a case from a society adrift, which is going beyond sports. Tom Boonen is a great champion but a great champion also has to act as a role model."
This is a side effect of the UCI losing leverage: there are no rules at all, and race organizers can use any criteria they like for excluding riders. The Tour is now using an undefined "role model" standard.
The CyclingNews confirms that the UCI will NOT sanction Tom Boonen for his positive "out-of-competition" test for cocaine as tthere is no sanction under UCI rules for this particular infraction. BUT, the Tour de Suisse made it clear today that Boonen is not welcome there, will the Tour de France be next:
Following the news of Boonen's test it's understandable that the ASO doesn't want Boonen to defend his green jersey this year. But the ASO hopes the Paris-Roubaix winner will be sidelined by his employer, rather than it being forced to take preventive measures.
The VeloNews carries Tom Boonen's apology for the controversy surrounding his positive out-of-competition test for cocaine. He read a prepared statement today and shared the stage with Quick Step manager Patrick Lefevere who maintains no decision has been made on the sprinter's team status as regards the Tour de France. Lefevere was quick to distinguish Boonen's situation from riders who have "real doping problems":
"I spoke by telephone with (Tour de France director) Christian Prudhomme on Monday. I will be in contact with him again shortly. I'm also going to have discussions with other organizers," Lefevere said.
Lefevere made an effort to distinguish his star rider’s behavior from the "real doping problems," which have occurred in the Tour in recent years, noting that Boonen’s difficulties were of a "private" nature.
Let the "spin fest" begin.
Ink and Paper
A emailer notes a section in the Outside Magazine print piece on Slipstream, saying:
In it, Vaughters all but confesses to having doped – he talks about all the doping that was going on when he raced then, when asked directly if he doped, says something like “if you can’t read between those lines…”. Maybe that’s not news anymore.
Rant notes Tom Boonen's affinity for "life in the fast lane", and wonders if Patrick Lefevere is as "queasy" about Boonen's problems as he was when he heard about Floyd Landis' positive test following the 2006 TdF. Rant also has a few words to say about Justin Gatlin's attempt to "use" the American's with Disabilities Act to get into this year's Olympic trials. Comments are generally fair and insightful.
Sports Girl, for some reason, revisits the 2006 Tour de France.
Racejunkie feels that as long as Tom Boonen "ain't snarfing it out of his musette at the feed zone" than what's the big deal with his "poz" for cocaine? Unfortunately at this particular time in cycling's history it can ill afford another drug scandal, even one as seminlgly benign as this one might be.
Sprocket Rocket isn't surprised or too let down by Boonen, as he's already run out of cycling heroes.