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Cycling: Hamilton suspended today

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posted on Sep, 22 2004 @ 04:35 PM
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Olympic cycling champion Tyler Hamilton was suspended Wednesday by his pro team, which threatened to fire him if he can't prove he's innocent of blood doping.

Hamilton could lose his time-trial gold medal from the Athens Games if backup tests confirm results from earlier tests at the Olympics and the Spanish Vuelta showing another person's blood in his system.

He denied receiving a transfusion - which can boost an athlete's performance by increasing the amount of oxygen-transporting red blood cells in his system.

Under the heading "We believe Tyler" in a statement Wednesday, Phonak team boss Andy Rihs said: "For the moment, we have to concentrate on the facts. 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, immediately below Rihs's statement, Phonak said Hamilton's suspension would hold "pending further notice" until tests and proceedings are completed.

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