July is coming, and that can only mean one thing: the Tour de France. Last year's tour was full of controversy, with two teams withdrawing from the tour, having had riders that failed blood-doping tests during the tour. This year, the Astana Team was not invited by the ASO, the organization that hosts the tour, even though they are a Pro Tour team. Alberto Contador and Levi Leipheimer, who came in first and third now ride with Astana, so they are out. Also, Tom Boonen, the dreamy Belgian sprinter and winner of last year's maillot vert, the green jersey of the points classification leader, will not be returning after testing positive for cocaine.
We can argue all month long about whether or not recreational cocaine usage should count as a disqualification. No, it's not performance-enhancing in the context of a momentary indiscretion in a hotel room. You might say it's more of a testament to Boonen's skill, that he can party that hard and still kick that much ass, winning the Paris-Roubaix and everything. You probably could make a joke that his nickname is "Tornado Tom" because he snarfs up everything in sight, like a cyclone.
However, it is my opinion that using cocaine is only for the immature. Cocaine is not PRO. It's not even cool. In my experience, I've found that it's only for people that are otherwise really quite dull, boring. It doesn't matter how you look at it though, the fact remains: Tom Boonen has been un-invited to the Tour de France. If you, like myself, are a fan of the sprinters, you will have to look elsewhere this year.