Tom Boonen’s place at the Tour de France is still in doubt this afternoon as the judge who was due to rule whether the Belgian could take part or not has declared himself unfit to make the decision.

Boonen had lodged an appeal with a court in Nanterre in an attempt to overthrow the decision by tour de France organiser Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) to exclude the Belgian sprinter from taking part in this year’s race.

With four days to go, time is running out for Boonen. His lawyers must now lodge an appeal with the French Court
of Arbitration for Sport and hope that they can turn around a decision before Saturday’s start in Monaco.

The Quick Step rider failed an out-of-competition test for cocaine in April, and ASO stated that he was not welcome at the Tour on the grounds of brining the sport into disrepute.Boonen was excluded from last year’s Tour for failing an out-of-competition test for cocaine in May 2008.

The 2009 Tour de France starts on Saturday, July 4, in Monaco, and finishes in Paris on Sunday, July 26.

RELATED LINKS

Tour de France 2009 – Cycling Weekly’s full coverage