Tyler Hamilton fails blood test

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Anonymous's picture

"Tyler Hamilton has failed a blood doping test at the Vuelta after winning the time trial stage on 11th September. A second B sample is to be tested to confirm the result of the A test. The same applies to the Olympic test, which was carried out on 19th August.

Everyone at Phonak is saying that it is nothing and are confident that the B tests will clear Hamilton. But the UCI said that the Veulta test showed the ""presence of a mixed red blood cell population, indication of a homologous blood transfusion"".

Is anything sacred in cycling anymore?



Anonymous's picture
JP (not verified)
Get a good doc!

Dr. Michele Ferrari helps to avoids problems like Tyler's! :-)

Anonymous's picture
Anthony Poole (not verified)

Allegedly! Just in case somebody decides to sue JP for libel and the NYCC for carrying the allegation.

Anonymous's picture
JP (not verified)
You jest.

I trust and hope that you jest. No libel here, not even by innuendo. Tyler apparently failed a test which MAY show he received a blood transfusion. This May suggest doping, but maybe related to Tyler's many injuries and treatments. Time will tell and I hope he is vindicated. BTW, with Dr. Ferrari, you avoid even the suggestion. That is my point - along with some humor.

Oh, :-)

Anonymous's picture
Anthony Poole (not verified)
Yes, just joking

Yes, I was joking, but bear in mind that I come from a country with the toughest libel laws in the world. Libel and slander under English law bizarrely puts the burden of proof on the defendent and not the plaintiff.

I hope there is a reasonable explanation for Tyler Hamilton's blood test results, although the fact he failed two in the space of almost a month certainly must have raised many questions. However, I'm not aware of any injury he has sustained that wouls have involved a blood transfusion. I don't believe the back injury required a transfusion.

Anonymous's picture
Chris T. (not verified)
Another Black Eye for cycling...

"When big names like Hamilton get caught, this only reinforces the following belief:

""They are all on Dope. Some just dope better than others""

This is not MY viewpoint. But the incident doesn't add any cycling fans to be sure."

Anonymous's picture
Fixer (not verified)

"What's sacred? Doping has been part of this sport since Major Taylor's day. These cries of bewilderment at finding out that this one or that one didn't race ""clean"" is just naive. Say it ain't so, Joe!

In any contest, especially when money's involved, competitors are always looking for an advantage, whether it be aero bars or anabolic steroids. That'll never change.

If you just watched the most exciting race you've ever seen, and then later found out all the major players failed their pee tests, does it make it any less enjoyable? Not for me.


Anonymous's picture
<a href="http://www.OhReallyOreilly.com">Peter O'Reilly</a> (not verified)
The Value of Good Habits and Clean Living

"It's true that doping was commonly used since Major Taylor's era as the first cyclist to (allegedly) die from doping was Arthur Linton (1896).

As for Major Taylor, it's likely that he did not succumb to doping. Here's the likely reason why, an excerpt from his autobiography: The Value of Good Habits and Clean Living"

Anonymous's picture
Yogi (not verified)
Even Playing Field

">If you just watched the most exciting race you've ever seen, and then later found out all the major players failed their pee tests, does it make it any less enjoyable? Not for me.

I’m every bit as cynical as the average NY(cc)’er. But it matters greatly to me if the winner was juiced and the second or fourth place was clean. I don’t subscribe to the spirit of competition has changed to WIN at all cost, even if it shortens your life 30 years or if you’re discovered, proven to be a fraud?

Obviously a lot of pro athletes think it’s a risk well worth taking. That is why Pro Sports doesn’t have a great appeal to me.

If LA did not have his battle with cancer, the 6 TDF wins and bicycle racing would have much less meaning to me. We’ll never know if he dopes or not because at this point in his career, he will not put himself in a situation where he’ll be caught. It’s like Babe Ruth saying after he hits his 700th HR, "" let me play around with a corked bat!"" I choose to believe that LA doesn’t dope illegally. I think he wins because he’s a freak of nature (huge lungs and heart), has exceptional focus and motivation (from a difficult childhood), and he’s meticulous in his preparation (I’m sure he is on the cutting edge of what he can put in his body also).

It’s kind of like when the planets align type of thing for me. We watch with awe and fascination and sometimes inspiration.

BTW, should we have a Pee Test after club rides? I saw my friend Tim M. put some stuff in his bottle last week. He tells people that it’s some Carbo thing but I’m not so sure because he makes me look silly on the hills.

Any volunteers to collect samples?

We all know John Z. is Juiced ( :-) Kidding, kidding, really ….just kidding.

Anonymous's picture
Anthony Poole (not verified)
LA probably is a freak

"I happen to agree with you that LA is probably a freak of nature in many respects. But to suggest that he ""doesn't dope illegally"" could be construed as implying that he does dope legally, which could also be construed that he has found a way of not being caught, especially when you say that you are sure he is ""on the cutting edge of what he can put in his body"".

Also, your assertion, ""We’ll never know if he dopes or not because at this point in his career, he will not put himself in a situation where he’ll be caught"", could also be construed as implying that there is some form of cheating going on that is undetectable and that you cannot accept him at face value when he says he is clean. Better to have said that you are not sure whether or not to believe LA, because such a statement clearly expresses your opinion, but does not make an accusation either directly or indirectly, or by implication.

Your comments are also at odds with your assertion that LA gets results because he is a freak of nature and dedicated to his sport.

Theoretically, some of your comments put you and the club on very shaky ground legally in some jurisdictions, bearing in mind that the club's website is viewed beyond the shores of the US. Circumstantial or anecdotal evidence, or even a hunch, will not stand up in a libel trial in many jurisdictions on the other side of the Pond, even if it will in some jurisdictions in the US.

While you might consider your remarks as being an act of freedom of expression, it may not be viewed that way by some lawyers, although I would think the chances of LA's lawyers launching a libel suit against you and the club for libel are pretty slim, especially as neither your or the club published the remarks for personal gain. However, the LA legal camp is undoubtedly very sensitive to any suggestion or inuendo, no matter how small, that he may have taken performance enhancing drugs at any time in his professional career.

The reports of the libel trial in London against the authors of 'LA Confidential' should make interesting reading, although it will probably be several months before the case reaches court.

Anyway, this thread is about Tyler Hamilton's alleged blood doping. I would certainly be bitterly disappointed if the 'B' tests are positive, which I fear they will be, as I always thought TH was a good guy."

Anonymous's picture
Robert (not verified)
well meaning censorship

I think you are wrong to be worried about any club or individual liability for libel of public figures. This is not an issue in America and to worry about this message board in foreign jurisdictions seems more than a bit alarmist if not downright fanciful. Are you saying that every U.S website for newspapers, magazines, tv, blogs, whathaveyou has to prevent itself from being read in the U.K (mind you I am talking about the U.S. site, not their possible companion UK site) I may be wrong, but I would like to see evidence first.

In a similar vein, the concern for proper attribution of stories also strikes me as totally unnecessary from a legal point of view. (as opposed to general interest) This is just a friggin message board.

(I love the NYCC but these legalistic worries, along with the honorary membership stuff, also smack of the conceit, that those not in the club care what we do or say).

I would hate to see the message board become less interesting

I have no problem in saying that Lance has used illegal performing enhancing drugs at some point in his career

Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)

Dr. Fiat, is that you? Now I really wish I could afford Dr. Ferrari, at least he keeps his mouth shut.

Anonymous's picture
<a href="http://www.OhReallyOreilly.com">Peter O'Reilly</a> (not verified)
gene threapy & drug testing

Perhaps all pro cyclists do dope at some point or maybe not. Once gene therapy becomes a bit more refined, which to my understanding it's almost there, you can throw drug testing out the window as it will be impossible to detect such. At least this is so without performing very invasive technique like a muscle biopsy.

Perhaps much like heart patients benefit from cyclists guniea pig use of Epogen (or is it the other way around?), the same will be true with gene therapy and those who suffer from ailments like muscular dystrophy.

Until gene therapy comes around, the best bet for aspiring pro cyclists is to choose their parents wisely. :-)

Anonymous's picture
Yogi (not verified)
expensive genes

I didn't like Designer Jeans in the 80's and I'm not so sure about them now.

Anonymous's picture
<a href="http://www.OhReallyOreilly.com">Peter O'Reilly</a> (not verified)
how about acid wash?

"or faux denim cycling shorts?

Anonymous's picture
Yogi (not verified)
Hamilton Denies Accusations
Anonymous's picture
B. Dale (not verified)
Hamilton suspended by Phonak

"Hamilton suspended by Phonak

Tyler Hamilton has been suspended by his Phonak team after he twice failed blood tests at the Athens Olympics and the Vuelta a España. The tests were done on August 19, the day after he won the Olympic time trial, and September 11, the day that he won the eighth stage time trial in the Vuelta. Results of the analyses of his B samples are still awaited.

In a statement issued by the team under the heading ""We believe Tyler"", Phonak team boss Andy Rihs said that he was shocked by the news as well. ""For the moment, we have to concentrate on the facts,"" said Rihs. ""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, the team also stated that Hamilton ""has been suspended pending further notice. He will remain so until the proceedings are completed. If Hamilton is not able to prove his innocence, then the contract will be cancelled effective immediately.""

Hamilton has strongly denied that he has used any illegal performance enhancing methods, telling a press conference yesterday that, ""I am 100 percent innocent. 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."" If found guilty, the consequences could be severe for the 33 year old American. In addition to losing his contract and personal sponsorships, he would also be stripped of his Olympic gold medal and Vuelta stage win, face a possible career-ending two year suspension for doping, as well as a considerable loss of credibility.

Hamilton is accused of receiving a homologous (N.B. blood from a compatible donor) blood transfusion after both the IOC and the UCI noticed irregularities in his blood profiles. Boosting oxygen carrying capacity and thus performance via blood transfusion is a fairly old method of doping that has come back into favour among endurance athletes because of the relative ease of detecting EPO. Homologous transfusions are detectable by the new blood test that has been researched for more than five years and was put into place at the Tour de France. As yet, autologous (N.B. a person's own blood) transfusions cannot be detected. Apart from detection, homologous transfusions carry risks such as the contraction of AIDS or other blood borne diseases. However, they have the advantage of not having side-effects for 4-6 weeks when blood is drawn.

At the moment, neither Hamilton nor his team have been able to explain the test results. Andy Rihs was quoted yesterday as saying that he doubted the validity of the test as well as the inordinately long period (nearly a month) between the Olympic test and Hamilton being informed of the result. However, the head of the IOC's medical commission, Arne Ljungqvist was quoted by Reuters as saying that Hamilton's test results were tagged ""suspicious"" when they came back from the IOC-accredited laboratory, so they were submitted for a review by a panel of experts. After the review ""it was ruled as not just suspicious but positive indeed"", Ljungqvist said.

As for the delay in reporting the results, Ljungqvist said that, ""It's a regular feature of exercising the proper care before reporting a case.""


Anonymous's picture
Anthony Poole (not verified)
Who reported this story?

I presume you cut and paste this from one of the news media, in which case, you should provide the appropriate accreditation, lest the club and you be accused of breach of copyright. It is similar to stories carried by the BBC and by ProCycling today.

That aside, I would like to hope that the 'B' Tests are negative, but find it hard to believe they will be, simply because there were two of them carried out by different organisations within the space of a month. It seems too much of a coincidence, unless the testing methods can be proved to be flawed. I actually believe that using somebody else's blood to enhance one's performance is even more dispicable than using EPO, or any other banned substance. That other person's blood could have been used to save somebody's life who really needed it.

Anonymous's picture
B. Dale (not verified)
Anonymous's picture
Joao (not verified)
Tyler Hamilton is in the clear
Anonymous's picture
curious (not verified)
not quite correct

b-test for olympics inconclusive, hence no sanction. b-test for vuelta suggested as being positive. hamilton still protesting innocence as so many before him...

Anonymous's picture
Jersey guy (not verified)
"Tyler's ""B"" sample at the Olympics was mishandled"

"From what I read on cyclingnews.com, the lab in Athens mistakenly froze Tyler's ""B"" sample, killing the red blood cells and making it impossible to test for blood doping. This was apparently a human error. The International Olympic Committee stated pointedly that this did not cast any doubt on the accuracy of the first test, which came out positive, but the rules required them to drop the matter if the B test was not a positive. So Tyler keeps his gold medal, apparently. The Vuelta ""B"" sample, though, came up positive, which means that the Union Cycliste Internationale could bar him from racing for two years, unless he can clear his name somehow. Though I've never met him, I have always thought Tyler was an honest person, I have been following his accomplishments for years, and I hope this is all due to some kind of flaw in the testing."

Anonymous's picture
Agreeable (not verified)
Uk Freedom of Speech

Just to let you know that as a forum user in the UK for many years, on matters cycling and not, we are not a state of restricted speech and fear of legal action. Quite the opposite. Sure our laws are tough once action has started but the thought that a member of the public and their club could be sued for comments on a forum is laughable. In my experience so far it's the USA that suffers from suppressed free speech and censored media. Lets face it they want to arrest the Critical Mass tonight!!!!

Hamilton's test is dissapointing,I too was a fan, preferring his quiet plucky attitude to racing in recent years. If the UCI prosecute him as both of their tests were positive then realistically his career should be over and his past achievements discredited, including the Olympic Gold. David Millar, the UK's golden boy, is now totally disgraced and has lost the respect of the country. If they don't then there is something wrong with the whole process, the whole system, professional cycling.......

Anonymous's picture
Herb (not verified)
from Haven Hamilton

GIRONA: This update is coming to you from Haven Hamilton. I'm Tyler's
wife. I wanted to post a note of appreciation to all of you who are
standing behind Tyler and I during this very difficult ordeal. The
outpouring of support has been overwhelming and is appreciated more
than you can imagine. Tyler is innocent of the charges against him and
we will do everything we can, with every resource we have to make this

I have known Tyler since 1996 and we have been married for almost six
years. When I met him he was a neo-pro bike racer who competed
primarily in the United States. Back in the day, we had no idea
Tyler's career would reach the heights that it has. But we've been
grateful for every opportunity he's been provided through racing and
have made the most of what I often refer to as - one incredible

After ten years of working for an advertising agency back in Boston I
left my job to join Tyler full time in Europe. The weeks and months
apart were taking a toll on our relationship and it was clear that if
Tyler was going to excel overseas he needed an on-sight support

Some people probably assume that athletes who make it to the
professional level were born gifted, and that it's the gift they
possess that allows them to make a living doing what they love. But
the gift is only the beginning. Tyler and I have met many talented
cyclists over the years who never make the jump to Division 1. So many
things can railroad a career. A bad season, a lack of support, a team
folding. the list of variables stacked against a kid who wants to rise
up to the highest level of this sport is endless. The ones who make it
have to above all, love what they are doing, be dedicated beyond
compare, and have luck and forward momentum on their side.

And this is all just for starters. When Tyler began racing in Europe,
he quickly realized he was starting anew as an athlete. Although he
had been a successful cyclist in the US, he had to begin the process
of proving himself all over again. It was clear that success back home
did not guarantee success in Europe.

For the first time in his life he was told he was ""over-wieght"",
""didn't train hard enough"", ""didn't eat right"", ""wasn't dedicated
enough"". This was pretty shocking considering he had been a successful
skier, soccer player, sail boat racer, little leaguer and cyclist all
his life. But Tyler took the advice of his new mentors, and as he
would say - ""stepped up"" his dedication and focus.

Tyler's steady progression over the last eight seasons here in Europe
has been a result of his ability to put cycling first in his life. I
have often joked that I ranked third behind the bike and dog in
Tyler's world. But there is some truth to this. Since 1997, the bike
has been first. Tyler has been a cyclist 24 hours a day, 7 days a
week, 365 days a year without exception.

This means that everything about our daily lives has been centered
around his career. The way we eat, what we eat, where we live, how we
rest, how often we see our friends and family, how often we go out to
dinner, where we go out dinner, where we go, what we do - has all
depended on what has been most suitable for Tyler's legs. This takes
discipline and dedication that we have often times found ourselves
having to explain over and over. ""Yes, I know it's Christmas, but
Tyler has to ride his bike today"". ""The wedding isn't until 5 o'clock.
He'll be back from his ride in time."" ""I know you spent all day
preparing dinner, but Tyler can't eat that.""

But the sacrifices have been worth it. Every season Tyler has managed
to set the bar a little higher for himself and reach a new height that
he hadn't reached before. But he has also been very ""human"" on the
bike. One thing that separates Tyler from other athletes in my"

Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)
Hand Me the Kleenex (nm)
Anonymous's picture
Hemo the magnificent (not verified)
"The ""on-sight[sic] support network"" speaks out"

"Why do the Hamilton's keep going on about spending their final Euro, draining their bank account(s), etc., when they will never do any such thing? And what happened to Tyler's ""surgical intervention"" that was going to explain everything? The new Cycle Sport is embarrassed by celebrating Hamilton's Olympic victory throughout the issue. He states that his wife belonged on the podium with him. Maybe just a little bit of her was."

Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)
I Figured it out

"""...our dog Tugboat faced the need for a transfusion in June. He had been bleeding internally and had lost over half his blood supply...""

They mixed up the blood stashes. Tugboat got Tyler's blood (saved for an autologous transfusion) and Tyler got dog blood."

Anonymous's picture
Yogi (not verified)
Fallout begins?

"Blood doping explained in NY Times article-


Armstrong Controversy

DALLAS, Sept. 23 (AP) - A company that owes Lance Armstrong $5 million for winning a record sixth straight Tour de France is withholding payment of the bonus, citing allegations in a French book that he used performance-enhancing drugs.

SCA Promotions points to doping allegations contained in ""L.A. Confidential, the Secrets of Lance Armstrong,"" published in June by La Martiniere. Armstrong has denounced the book's claims as ""absolutely untrue"" and started defamation lawsuits against the publisher and authors.

Chris Compton, a lawyer for SCA, said the company wanted to see Armstrong's medical records before releasing the money.

Armstrong's U.S. Postal Cycling Team filed suit this month in state court in Dallas, claiming the SCA did not have the right to question Armstrong's Tour victories, which were upheld by cycling authorities.

Anonymous's picture
Rob M (not verified)

Apparently the B sample was destroyed by the freezing process, how convenient. Surely he should just admit it given that he has tested positive 3 times (twice in Spain and once at the Olympics).


I really don’t mind the drug cheats that much, if you are willing to die to win then good luck to you. But there comes a time when every one should take responsibility for their actions. But then I only ride for fun.

Anonymous's picture
Maggie Schwarz (not verified)
Two questions

a. Herb: Where did Haven Hamilton publish or post that schmaltzy piece she wrote? Is it from the Tyler Hamilton Foundation website, or what?

b. I take it the current status is this:
He failed two tests, the third was destroyed by deep freezing. We now await results of the Vuelta's blood test. Is that correct?

Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)

Tyler failed 3 tests, A and B samples from the Vuelta, and an A sample from the Olympics.

He is currently awaiting UCI's decision on his fate, which will most likely be a two year suspension from racing, effectively ending his career.

Anonymous's picture
jersey guy (not verified)
Schmaltzy report

It's on velonews.com and tylerhamilton.com.

Anonymous's picture
Banana Guy (not verified)
Everybody cheats!

I'm gonna go back to watching NASCAR, where cheating the rules is part of the game and the best cheater wins!

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