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Meirhaeghe Tests Positive For EPO, Retires
Meirhaeghe Tests Positive For EPO, Retires
By: Jack Miller, Dirt Rag

Filip Meirhaeghe (pronounced “Meer-Hawga”), the reigning world mountain bike champion and a favorite to win gold at the Athens Olympics this summer, has tested positive for the banned substance EPO, and has subsequently retired from competitive cycling. Winner of three World Cup events this year and the silver medal at the 2000 Olympics, Meirhaeghe was one of Belgium's’ few medal hopes for the summer games. Along with that, he is widely credited with popularizing the sport of mountain biking in Belgium.

Meirhaeghe tested positive at an out of competition control on June 25, just two days before the fifth round of the mountain bike World Cup in Monte St Anne, Canada. While he claims to have first taken EPO just seven weeks ago, the 33-year-old Meirhaeghe was banned from competing in the 1997 mountain bike World Championships for testing with high levels of hematocrit, a trait indicative of EPO use.




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