Boulder, Colorado Feb 11, 2006 Olympic Champion cyclist Tyler Hamilton received the final verdict from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) today. He is very disappointed to learn charges he received a homologous blood transfusion during the 2004 cycling season were upheld. Per CAS, “the appeal filed by Mr. Hamilton against the award dated 18 April 2005 rendered by the AAA Panel is dismissed”
Hamilton steadfastly maintains his innocence and has gone to great lengths to clear his name. He endured nearly seventeen months of arbitration and media scrutiny with the same characteristic fortitude that has made him popular as an athlete.
Mr. Hamilton’s defense criticized the test methodology used to try to detect homologous blood transfusion (transfusion of blood from another person). He argued the test lacked proper validation, was rushed into use and did not meet the standards of the scientific community. As a result, he maintained the conclusions of such a test could not be trusted.
Well respected experts cited inconsistencies within his test data that could only be explained by technical error or flaws within the methodology. Test results from the Athens Olympic Games failed to type Mr. Hamilton’s blood correctly and generated biologically impossible results. In addition, they are not in agreement with test results generated three weeks later at the Vuelta Espana (Tour of Spain) that formed the basis for the doping charges in this case.
The decision reached by CAS prohibits Mr. Hamilton from returning to professional cycling until September 22, 2006. In addition to looking forward to returning to racing, he will continue to defend his integrity and fight for improvements within the anti-doping system.
Statement from Tyler Hamilton: “Based on my devastating personal experience over the last year and a half, I am committed to fighting for reform within the anti-doping movement. I do support the anti-doping mission and USADA, however the current system has failed an innocent athlete and needs to change.
Out of respect to fairness and the rights of all athletes, there should be clear separation between the agencies that develop new tests and those that adjudicate anti-doping cases.
Credible, independent experts, not those who funded or developed the original methodology, should be charged with properly validating new tests.
I don’t believe any athlete should be subjected to a flawed test or charged with a doping violation through the use of a method that is not fully validated or generates fluctuating results.
I will also continue to support the formation of unions to help protect the rights of athletes. My goal is to keep other athletes from experiencing the enormous pain and horrendous toll of being wrongly accused.”
More information on the Tyler Hamilton Verdict
Tyler Hamilton Foundation