Phonak suspends Hamilton

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Ronde Chimp, Sep 22, 2004.

  1. Ronde Chimp

    Ronde Chimp Guest

    http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/news/archive/2004/09/22/sports1108EDT0224.DTL

    (09-22) 08:08 PDT GENEVA (AP) --

    Olympic cycling champion Tyler Hamilton was suspended Wednesday by his
    pro team, which threatened to fire him if he can't prove he's innocent
    of blood doping.

    Hamilton could lose his time-trial gold medal from the Athens Games if
    backup tests confirm results from earlier tests at the Olympics and
    the Spanish Vuelta showing another person's blood in his system.

    He denied receiving a transfusion -- which can boost an athlete's
    performance by increasing the amount of oxygen-transporting red blood
    cells in his system.

    Under the heading "We believe Tyler" in a statement Wednesday, Phonak
    team boss Andy Rihs said: "For the moment, we have to concentrate on
    the facts. These seem to speak against Tyler. But so long as we're not
    100 percent certain that he's guilty of manipulation, we will believe
    him."

    However, immediately below Rihs's statement, Phonak said Hamilton's
    suspension would hold "pending further notice" until tests and
    proceedings are completed.

    "If Hamilton is not able to prove his innocence, then the contract
    will be canceled effective immediately," the statement said.

    The team's stance is a far cry from the staunch support of Hamilton it
    showed Tuesday, when Rihs declared he didn't "fire innocent people,"
    adding that "Tyler is innocent as long as no one proves the contrary."

    Hamilton said he already is losing endorsement deals, though he
    wouldn't say with which companies.

    "Already it has ruined a lot for me -- my reputation," Hamilton said.
    "There are personal sponsors who are pulling out. It's sad."

    He's sponsored by Nike, Oakley Eyewear and Watches, Zipp Wheels, pedal
    manufacturer Speedplay, Bell Helmets and energy bar maker Clif Bar.

    Phonak, a Swiss team, was informed by cycling's international body and
    the International Olympic Committee that tests at the Athens Olympics
    on Aug. 19 and at the Spanish Vuelta on Sept. 11 showed evidence of
    blood from another person.

    The International Cycling Union had informed cyclists at the start of
    the season that tests for blood doping and Human Growth Hormone were
    well advanced and probably would be introduced in the coming months.

    "I am 100 percent innocent," Hamilton said Tuesday. "The results were
    like a bolt of lightning out of the blue for me. I have no idea what
    has happened. It must be some kind of manipulation."

    A record 24 athletes were caught with doping violations at the Aug.
    13-29 Olympic Games. Three athletes had gold medals revoked for doping
    in Athens.

    Hamilton was the only American cyclist to win a gold medal in Athens,
    and he called that victory "the highlight of my career, by far."

    If he is disqualified, the gold medal would go to Russia's Viatcheslav
    Ekimov, with American Bobby Julich moving up to silver and Australia's
    Michael Rogers to the bronze
     
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  2. On 22 Sep 2004 08:39:11 -0700, Ronde Chimp wrote:
    > The team's stance is a far cry from the staunch support of Hamilton it
    > showed Tuesday


    Phonak saving their Pro Tour entry.
     
  3. Ewoud Dronkert <[email protected]> writes:

    > On 22 Sep 2004 08:39:11 -0700, Ronde Chimp wrote:
    > > The team's stance is a far cry from the staunch support of Hamilton it
    > > showed Tuesday

    >
    > Phonak saving their Pro Tour entry.



    It had to happen

    I wondered at the team's support of him yesterday.

    --
    le Vent a Dos, Davey Crockett
    Six Day Site: http://sixday.741.com/
    Latest news at http://sixday.741.com/news.html
     
  4. [email protected] wrote:

    > Ewoud Dronkert <[email protected]> writes:
    >
    >
    >>On 22 Sep 2004 08:39:11 -0700, Ronde Chimp wrote:
    >>
    >>>The team's stance is a far cry from the staunch support of Hamilton it
    >>>showed Tuesday

    >>
    >>Phonak saving their Pro Tour entry.

    >
    >
    >
    > It had to happen
    >
    > I wondered at the team's support of him yesterday.
    >


    First reactions, from the playbook.

    Next will either be a floating of the surgery defence, or retiral.
    Stephen Roche, telephone call for Mr Roche....
     
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