FILIP MEIRHAEGHE OUT OF OLYMPICS FOR DOPING

FILIP MEIRHAEGHE OUT OF OLYMPICS FOR DOPING


(The Associated Press)

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) – Belgian world champion mountain biker Filip Meirhaeghe pulled out of the Olympics and announced his retirement from the sport Thursday after testing positive for the banned substance erythropoietin.

Meirhaeghe, 33, said he tested positive for the blood-boosting EPO before a mountain bike cross country World Cup race on June 27 in Canada. He won the race, moving to second place in the overall World Cup rankings.

“I took EPO for the first time seven weeks ago in Austria. I absolutely didn’t want to miss the Olympics, they were my ultimate target,” he was quoted by Belga news agency as saying. “I went through a tough period, that’s why I took it. It was the wrong decision, but I’m only human.”

Meirhaeghe, a silver medalist in Sydney four years ago, was one of Belgium’s top medal hopes at the August 13-29 Games in Athens.       

 

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