Hamilton's IMAX role is downplayed
As the US Anti-Doping Agency begins its hearing into Tyler Hamilton’s positive test for blood doping
PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM With Tyler Hamilton’s hearing with the US Anti-Doping Agency already under way in Denver, the BikeBiz.com website is reporting that the Olympic champion’s central role in the IMAX film ‘Brain Power’ has been much reduced. Filmed for the most part during the 2003 Tour de France when Hamilton was riding for the CSC team, ‘Brain Power’ was expected to feature the 2004 Olympic time trial champion as its main protagonist. Rushes shown at the procycling-run cinema at the Cycle 2004 show in London last September focused almost entirely on the American. In a July 2003 press release from distributors nWave Pictures, the film was due to show “the extraordinary processes of the human brain by following world-class, professional cyclist, Tyler Hamilton as he trains and participates in the Tour de France.” However, Hamilton was not mentioned in a release about the much-delayed film from nWave last week. Instead, ‘Brain Power’ becomes the “dramatic story of pro cyclists dealing with the stresses, dangers, and conflicts of the Tour de France”, and is set to “follow several Tour riders as they cope with pain in the high Alps, experience a ‘fight-or-flight’ situation on a steep downhill switchback, struggle to maintain mental focus and wage a constant mental war between extreme exhaustion and their motivation to reach the finish line in Paris.” BikeBiz reports that two of the riders now featured in the film are TV commentators Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen. The film is now set for a November 2005 premiere, with general release due in spring 2006. This is more than a year later than originally planned. This news is the least of Hamilton’s worries, however, as he faces a USADA hearing into his positive test for blood doping at last September’s Vuelta. Hamilton, 34 today, has steadfastly maintained his innocence of the charge and will be aiming to show that there are inconsistencies in the test for blood doping. Hamilton’s prospects won’t have been boosted by the two-year ban that was handed down to his former Phonak team-mate Santiago Perez by the Spanish federation on a similar charge last week. Perez is set to appeal that decision at the Spanish Commission for Sporting Discipline. The head of Hamilton’s legal team, Howard Jacobs, told the Denver Post: “I am fairly optimistic. It helps it that if you have an athlete who tests positive for Nandrolone, which has been tested for 15 years, and you say, ‘Hey, the test isn’t valid,’ you won’t get far with that. But here the validity of the test has to be established. We’ve preached all along it’s not a valid test. Maybe we know something they don’t.” A decision in the case is expected to be delivered by March 12.