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Tom Boonen once bribed customs officers with dirty magazines

Tom Boonen once bribed customs officers with dirty magazines

Tom Booned shared a blast from the past, as it were, from the 2004 Tour of Qatar, in which he bribed officials with some banned magazines. The former world champion shared the yarn on the podcast “Wielerclub Wattage.” He explained how teammate  Nick Nuyens and some nude mags got him into deep doo-doo.

“Since the Internet at the hotel was often a nightmare at the time, we always bought magazines at the airport in Brussels to pass the time in our hotel room. For the flight to Qatar I bought a car magazine, a P-magazine, a Ché, a Playboy and some other stuff,” he said. “When we landed in Qatar, we had to wait a while for the luggage. I had left my backpack with magazines with my teammates and was waiting at baggage claim.”

“I read it for the articles?”

The magazines were still in his backpack, so all was well. Pornography is banned in Qatar. The country strictly regulates media content, and access to pornographic material is prohibited by law. This ban aligns with Qatar’s conservative cultural and religious values.

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Nuyens, however, did not get the memo.

“Nick Nuyens couldn’t have thought of anything better than to take a book out of my backpack and leaf through it,” the four-time winner of Paris-Roubaix said. “I already knew that the customs officers were watching us.”

Nuyens pulls a fast one

When Nuyens took out the adult reading material, the officials rushed over.

“They took those booklets and said: “That’s not allowed, you have to come with us!”

Boonen’s teammate must not have been familiar with the concept of Omertà, however. Because as he was being dragged off, he immediately went to snitchville.

“As Nick was being grabbed, he immediately pointed at me: ‘Those are his books, those are his books,’ Boonen explained.

Boonen instead had to go with the customs officers. “That’s a criminal offence, isn’t it, buddy. You can’t take those books with you,” one of the customs officers told him.

He noticed that the customs officers showed significant interest in the books and eventually relented, saying after some negotiation, “You can keep all those books. Let’s just leave and forget about this.”

It turned out to be a stroke of brilliance. “The customs officers gladly accepted those magazines and seemed quite pleased with them,” Boonen recounted. With that, he was permitted to leave, and the matter was swiftly…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Canadian Cycling Magazine…