Het Nieuwsblad has reported that Tom Boonen, Stijn Devolder and Etixx-Quick Step team manager Patrick Lefevere are suspected of tax fraud and must appear in court.

A Kortrijk prosecutor has been investigating alleged tax evasion of the cyclists and Lefevre, and thefraud is said to involve “significant amounts”.

“It is a complex fraud scheme that was set up with the intention to keep revenue from foreign and domestic riders hidden from the tax authorities,” explains Tom Janssens of Kortrijk prosecutors.

According to Janssens there are more suspects in this case. “They may face the criminal court. However, it is possible that they can reach an agreement with the tax authorities and then avoid prosecution.”