Boonen no longer suspended by team, will race next month

PARIS Mon May 25, 2009 11:36pm IST

Quick Step rider Tom Boonen of Belgium celebrates as he wins the Paris-Roubaix cycling classic race in Roubaix in this April 12, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/Files

Quick Step rider Tom Boonen of Belgium celebrates as he wins the Paris-Roubaix cycling classic race in Roubaix in this April 12, 2009 file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Francois Lenoir/Files

PARIS (Reuters) - Former world champion Tom Boonen will take part in next month's Dauphine Libere after his Quick Step team lifted the Belgian's ban for failing an out-of-competition drugs test for cocaine.

"I rang Charly Mottet, the Dauphine Libere director, to ask him if Tom Boonen if he could participate in this race," Quick Step manager Patrick Lefevre told Reuters on Monday.

"He told me he was abiding by the UCI (International Cyling Union) rules. Tom has not doped, he has not been punished. His problem is different."

Boonen, who won the Paris-Roubaix classic race for the third time this year, failed an out-of-competition test for cocaine last month and was provisionally suspended by Quick Step.

Out-of-competition use of cocaine is not subject to sanctions from the UCI, although the sport's governing body said earlier this month it could ban the rider for up to six months.

No disciplinary proceedings have been officially opened yet.

The Dauphine Libere, which starts on June 7, is the traditional warm-up race for the Tour de France. Boonen still hopes to take part although organisers said they would not welcome his participation.