Tyler Hamilton is laying the foundation for his triumphant return to cycling by whupping old guys and amateurs in big hill climb time trials (Mt washington). He is lobbying hard for a worlds position on the US team and perhaps a good showing will lead to a protour contract for the rest of the year and next. Maybe the new Kazachstani Astana? or Saunier Duval-Prodir? Like I says before, I eagerly await the his return to competition, however...
It seems that his implication in operation puerto is getting heavier by the day. A danish and a Belgian paper have published Tyler Hamilton doping calendars for the 2003 season. See cyclingnews's summary halfway down this page entitled Extensive doping alleged for Hamilton. The alleged products used are EPO, Human Growth Hormone, anabolic steroids, self blood transfusions and a pregnancy hormon used as a masking agent. All this with the help of Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes, the center of the operation puerto scandal. Doping products were alleged to cost Tyler 43,000 Euro over the 2003 season. Chump change for a million dollar salaried cyclist like him. Woo!
In the current climate I think the UCI/WADA will be as punitive as possible. Given that Tyler was already suspended and served his time, I am not sure if the allegations can be held against him. I am not convinced that he will get by unscathed though. UCI president Pat McQuaid has already said that Hamilton could face a lifetime ban if he is found to be involved in the current scandal. Some comments about his prospects before the latest news broke here. Sheesh.
Just a thought on Tyler Hamilton and Jan Ulrich, they both train with, to quote the excellent book Lance Armstrong's War,the Notorious Dr. Checcini. Both are also implicated in Operacion Puerto. Hmmm. I think it might be worth a tiny bit of time seeing how exactly this guy is training his athletes. Bjarne Riis, Tyler's coach in 2003, claimed no knowledge of his extensive doping program. He is humorously quoted here as saying ""I would like to remind you that we live in hotels and not in a prison..." If Riis did not know anything, perhaps his trainer, Checcini, did. I highly recommend reading Lance Armstrong's War to get a picture of the degree of scientific training, control and imput that trainers like Dr. Michele Ferrari and Dr. Luigi Checcini have on their riders. The inescapable conclusions are as follows:
1. They are so rigorous and scientific in their training, recovery and medical plans that there is no need to resort to doping.
2. They are so rigorous and scientific in their training, recovery and medical plans that systematic doping is the next logical step in improving performance.
Read it. It is spectacularly well written, entertaining and pretty eye opening. Best bike book I have read since The Rider.
Remember the Vuelta starts soon as well!
I hope to see Tom Danielson ascend to heights unacheived by americans in the vuelta previously. I also half expect to see some sort of excellent police action during the Vuelta catching dopers now that spain is serious about doping and emboldened by the overwhelming success of Operation Puerto.
More Doping musings: