Belgian magistrates have confirmed that they will make a decision on January 6 if former world champion and classics winner Tom Boonen is to face criminal charges for using cocaine following his positive anti-doping test for the drug last summer.
Under Belgian law cocaine use is a criminal offence and according to reports in the Belgian press, 28 year-old Boonen could in theory face a prison sentence of between three months and five years and a fine of between 1000 and 100,000 Euro. Because it is his first offence, it is likely Boonen will face a fine and perhaps have to do some kind of social work.
Boonen failed an out of competition test carried out in May. He apologised for his mistake in a press conference in June but later suggested that cocaine may have been put in his drink in a bar.
The former Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders winner was not suspended from racing because a positive test for cocaine in an out of competition test is not punished with a ban. However he was forced to miss the Tour de France.
Boonen will be in Spain this week for the first Quick Step training camp of the winter.
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