Franck Vandenbroucke is set to join the Italian Cinelli-OPD squad for the 2009 season, according to a statement from the team issued this week.

Vandenbroucke was once the darling of the Belgain cycling scene, thanks to his wins in races such as Ghent-Wevelgem, Paris-Nice, Het Volk and Liege-Bastogne-Liege in the late nineties.

Vandenbroucke’s career took a dive in the early 2000s when he was implicated in several doping investigations. He was arrested in January 2007 as a result of allegations that he bought doping products from sports supplement company Performance.

In June 2007, Vandenbroucke hit the headlines again when he attempted to commit suicide. Earlier this year he seemed to bounce back and signed with Mitsubishi-Jartazi, but was soon in the headlines for the wrong reasons when he was arrested by Belgian police in connection with purchase of cocaine. Mitsubishi subsequently dropped Vandenbroucke, and he has been without a team since.

Photo: Cinelli-OPD