Belgian cyclist Frank Vandenbroucke has died at the age of 34, a source close to the racer told the French news service Agence France Presse.
According to Belgian media, Vandenbroucke was found dead in his hotel room in Senegal, where he was on holiday. A preliminary diagnosis suggests Vandenbroucke suffered from a pulmonary embolism.
Vandenbroucke made his professional debut in 1994 and recorded 51 victories, including the 1999 Liège-Bastogne-Liège classic, his career highlight.
In 2002, Vandenbroucke was twice stopped by police and discovered to be under the influence of alcohol at the wheel of a car. In another incident that year, a police search at his home uncovered a large quantity of doping substances.
In 2003, when he rode for the Quick Step team, Vandenbroucke appeared on the way back after a second place finish in the prestigious Tour of Flanders classic.
However, despite a promising start to the 2004 season, hopes of a sustained comeback were cut short and he sunk further into depression. Vandenbroucke suffered from depression and tried two years ago to commit suicide after his wife said she was divorcing him.