Hamilton expected to officially lose 2004 Olympic title tomorrow
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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Hamilton expected to officially lose 2004 Olympic title tomorrow

by VeloNation Press at 6:33 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
Ekimov, Julich and Rogers each advance one place in time trial

Tyler HamiltonWith nine days remaining until the eighth anniversary of the 2004 Olympic time trial championships – and, therefore, the expiration of the statute of limitations – the International Olympic Committee has indicated that it will officially remove Tyler Hamilton from the top of the podium.

According to Reuters, an unnamed IOC source said today that the retired US pro will be stripped of the medal on Friday.

Gold will go to the Russian Viatcheslav Ekimov, while the American Bobby Julich and Michael Rogers (Australia) will each move up a place and take silver and bronze.

Of those, only Rogers is still competing. He was part of the Sky Procycling team which helped Bradley Wiggins to Tour de France success this year.

“It will happen tomorrow,” the source said about the reassignment of medals. “The commission waited to see if there was more information coming from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) that implicated other riders or their coaches from the Athens Games but there is no more coming.”

Hamilton’s medal was controversial as he tested positive for an autologous blood transfusion in both the Olympic time trial and that year’s Vuelta a España.

He was eventually handed a two year ban for the latter, but escaped losing his Olympic medal as officials mistakenly froze his Olympic B-sample blood test. The error ruptured the red blood cells and made it impossible to run the autologous sample examination needed to verify the results.

He would have continued to hold the gold but confessed last May to using performance-enhancing substances during his career. At the time he sent around an email to family and friends explaining the motives for his decision.

“There are two reasons. The first has to do with the federal investigation into cycling,” he wrote. “Last summer, I received a subpoena to testify before a grand jury. Until that moment I walked into the courtroom, I hadn't told a soul. My testimony went on for six hours. For me, it was like the Hoover dam breaking. I opened up; I told the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. And I felt a sense of relief I'd never felt before -- all the secrets, all the weight I'd been carrying around for years suddenly lifted. I saw that, for me personally, this was the way forward.

“The second reason has to do with the sport I love. In order to truly reform, cycling needs to change, and change drastically, starting from the top. Now that I'm working as a coach, I see young people entering the sport with hopes of making it to the top. I believe that no one coming into the sport should have to face the difficult choices I had to make. And before the sport can move forward, it has to face the truth.”

According to Reuters IOC President Jacques Rogge sent Hamilton an email earlier this year in relation to his confession and offer to return the gold medal.

“I acknowledge with thanks the receipt of your letter dated June 28, 2012, in which you request the IOC to withdraw your name from the official record of Olympic champions and disclaim any interest in the Olympic gold medal from the men's individual time trial cycling race at the Athens 2004 Olympics,” he wrote.

“In particular, I very much appreciate you have expressed regret for having used performance enhancing drugs and that you hope that through your example and future efforts this will discourage others from using performance enhancing drugs.”

Hamilton is one of many witnesses in the current Lance Armstrong/US Postal Service investigation.


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