Yesterday Meirhaeghe told his sponsor that he had tested positive for the banned substance EPO.
This morning at a press conference in Belgium, Meirhaeghe admitted his guilt and said it was time for him to stop racing.
"Nobody from my entourage knew about that EPO use," he said.
"I immediately understood it would be fatal for my career."
Specialized’s policy with its athletes is "zero tolerance" regarding the use of banned substances, said Mike Sinyard.
"If you cheat, you’re fired. Filip is a great person and an exceptional athlete who exercised exceptionally poor judgement and, it truly saddens me to see his accomplishments diminished this way.
"I believe that as a person, he is fundamentally above such things, but made a grave mistake."?