Tyler responds to 'media inaccuracies'

Admitting that he is losing the PR war on his blood doping case, Tyler Hamilton has broken his silen

Admitting that he is losing the PR war on his blood doping case, Tyler Hamilton has broken his silen
PICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE After steadfastly refusing to make any media comment during his ongoing fight against charges of blood doping, Tyler Hamilton has finally given his side of the story on his personal website. The Phonak rider says in a statement that he has been "losing the 'PR' war - partially because I naively thought that if I stated whole-heartedly that I have never and would never engage in blood doping or any form of cheating - and waited for the process to exonerate me, I would be fine. I also naively thought that officials within the various 'anti-doping' organizations would wait for the due process before passing judgment on me publicly - again I was wrong. I know now that if I wait to discuss at least a few points of fact with the public, by the time I am fully exonerated and I know I will be exonerated; my reputation may be jeopardized. So with that being said, I would like to dispel some things that have been said inaccurately in the media. 1. Despite indications to the contrary my A sample from the Olympics, the one that first brought on this issue, was initially determined to be negative for blood doping - when it was re-analyzed and I am not sure why it was re-analyzed - it was again deemed negative. It was not a clearly positive test as it has been characterized. Instead, the results of both 'negative' tests were reviewed by a 'panel of experts' and then apparently deemed positive. This much review of one sample calls into question the validity of this test which has been criticized by many very reputable scientists as being inaccurate and unreliable. To this day, I have not been provided any paperwork from the IOC that states my A Sample was positive. 2. Again, contrary to what you have heard in the media, my B sample from the Olympics was not accidentally frozen. I have no idea why an official would lie about this procedure but, for the record, the protocol is for the B sample to be frozen when the A sample is negative - this was the case with me after my A Sample was deemed negative and is why the lab froze the B sample, as opposed to a lab 'mistake'. Moreover, comparing my 'test results' from Athens to 'test results' from Spain reveal serious inconsistencies, which could mean that 1) the test itself is invalid; 2) the test method was not followed; or 3) that one of the samples is not my blood. On this note, I have asked numerous times for my blood to be DNA tested - I have been turned down and also not been allowed to have independent scientists review the findings. In addition, repeated requests to review the raw data and the testing protocol have been thwarted or denied. Doesn't that sound odd? To conclude, these are only a few points of the many that I will be bringing up during the examination process of my case, but I wanted people to have these facts to consider. I know we are living in an age where we unfortunately hear about athletes who cheat and I have to admit that, prior to this, when I saw something on the news regarding doping or some kind of cheating, it seemed very black and white. I have now learned that drug testing is very complicated, and mistakes can be made. I have always admitted when I have made tactical mistakes in races, and I hope that when this case is over, the testers and the agencies involved will admit to their mistakes as well." The statement (which can be seen in its entirety at www.tylerhamilton.com) makes no mention of Hamilton's team-mate Santiago Perez, who also tested positive for blood doping. Nor does it mention the Phonak team's predicament in being overlooked for a place in next season's Pro Tour, apparently because of these incidents and a positive test for EPO delivered by Oscar Camenzind. Hamilton's case is due to be heard by the US Anti-Doping Agency in the new year.

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