Gold medal cyclist faces drug probe - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Gold medal cyclist faces drug probe

By Naomi Koppel 22/09/2004 05:31:08 AM Comments (0)

Olympic time-trial champion Tyler Hamilton declared his innocence after his Phonak cycling team said he's being investigated for possible blood doping and could be stripped of his gold medal.

Hamilton vowed to keep his Athens gold and said he would "fight this until I don't have a euro left in my pocket."

"I worked hard for that gold medal and it isn't going anywhere," he said.

Tests at the Athens Olympics on August 19 and at the Spanish Vuelta on September 18 showed evidence of blood from another person, cycling's governing body said, according to a Phonak spokesman.

Follow-up tests will be finished on Wednesday, although it isn't clear when the results will be announced, Hamilton said.

If found guilty of a violation at the Olympics, Hamilton could lose his gold. Three athletes had gold medals revoked for doping during the August 13-29 Games.

Hamilton said there were some puzzling aspects to the case, especially because he found out about the September test last Thursday and only learned about the Olympic test "at 1:05pm on Saturday."

Andy Rihs, chairman of the board of Phonak, said he didn't trust the new blood doping test.

"I think this test was done sloppily and I am pretty clear that whatever the test comes out tomorrow I stand behind Tyler," Rihs said.

Hamilton said he understood that the test had been used for the first time during the Giro d'Italia in May and that if his B test also turns out positive it would be the first time it had shown blood doping.

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