Belgian cycling star Tom Boonen risks facing criminal charges over his positive test for cocaine, according to public prosecutors in Turnhout, Belgium today.
Boonen, a former world champion and winner of such prestigious races as Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders, tested positive for the recreational drug in an out of competition test in May this year.
The 28-year-old escaped a sports sanction because the test was not held under the auspices of a sport body, however his team, Quick Step, were forced to pull him off their Tour de France squad after race organisers expressed concerns.
Now the Flemish cycling star, who has recently returned to live in Belgium from Monaco, has been told to expect by January 6 on whether he will face charges or not.
According to sources at the prosecutors office Boonen would risk between three months and five years in prison and a fine of between 1,000 and 100,000 euros.
Boonen admitted to cocaine use in June and tried to win back fans with a public apology.