By Agence France Presse
Belgian police this week questioned former world cycling champion Tom Boonen and searched his parents’ home as part of a drugs investigation involving another cyclist.
The Tour de France green jersey winner’s name came up during a police inquiry into Belgian cyclocross rider Tom Vanoppen.
On Wednesday, Belgian police carried out a search of Boonen’s parents’ home in the northern town of Retie, a move described by prosecutor Marc Rubens on Friday as routine.
“Mr. Boonen himself gave permission for the search to go ahead at his parents’ house,” where the rider lives when he is in Belgium, Rubens said. “The search offered up nothing.”
Rubens added that he had called a press conference to “clear up the rumors and revelations made by certain media,” some of which had alleged Boonen was a cocaine dealer.
“The image of Tom Boonen cannot continue to be sullied,” Rubens said of the.
Patrick Lefevere, general manager of Boonen’s cycling team, Quick Step, added: “Tom has simply been questioned briefly and replied to everything. My rider is a training partner of Vannoppen. But that’s the case of half the Belgian riders.”
Boonen, the 2005 world champion, is in Doha for the Tour of Qatar, which starts on Sunday.