From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Filip Meirhaeghe (born 5 March 1971 in Ghent) is a retired Belgian racing cyclist. His primary focus was in mountain bike racing, however, he has also taken part in elite road, cyclo-cross and track cycling. He has won four Mountain Bike World Championships medals, one Olympic medal and a total of eleven mountain bike World Cup events. In the final years of his racing career he raced for the bicycle manufacturer Specialized Bicycle Components on the mountain bike and for the professional team Domina Vacanze-Elitron on the road.
On 29 July 2004, just before the 2004 Summer Olympics, Meirhaeghe admitted to having used EPO. He tested positive during the World Cup in Mont Sainte-Anne, Quebec (Canada) and unlike most racers did not argue the validity of the test. During a press conference he admitted he used EPO simply because of his desire to win gold at the Olympic Games in Athens. He also announced at that time he would stop racing and retire. He wrote a book called Positief, which tells the story of his life as an athlete and the consequences of his positive test. (issued by Davidsfonds – in Dutch only).
End of retirement
Filip was suspended from professional racing until 14 January 2006 based on his positive test result. On 1 January 2006, he announced he would resume racing. He signed a three-year contract to race for Landbouwkrediet-Colnago on the road and Versluys-Landbouwkrediet-Sportstech on mountain bikes. He made his comeback during the beach-race of Oostduinkerke (Belgium). He retired again in September 2009.