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Tour de France

Boonen hits another snag

Tom Boonen's bid to overturn a bar him from competing in the Tour de France has hit another snag with the decision by a French court not to hear his case. The former world road race champion from Belgium was barred from the Tour by its organizers Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO) following his positive test for cocaine in April, even though the test was taken outside the sporting calendar.

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By Agence France Presse

Tom Boonen’s bid to overturn a bar him from competing in the Tour de France has hit another snag with the decision by a French court not to hear his case.

The former world road race champion from Belgium was barred from the Tour by its organizers Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO) following his positive test for cocaine in April, even though the test was taken outside the sporting calendar.

The cyclist’s legal team decided their case stood a better chance in a civil court rather than before the French sports tribunal, in the limited time available before the race starts at Monaco on July 4.

But a court in Nanterre ruled that it did not have jurisdiction to hear the case as the agreement between ASO and competing teams was that any disputes should go before the French Olympic Committee’s arbitration panel.

A statement from the Quick Step team said they would now take the case to sporting body.

Boonen, who missed last year’s Tour for similar reasons, still faces possible criminal charges in Belgium arising from the drug test on April 25 2009.

Boonen first tested positive for cocaine in May last year, although he escaped any criminal charges on the condition he would stay away from any future drugs scandal inside a three-year period.