TORONTO -- Tyler Hamilton's title from the Athens Games is "no longer a gold medal in the eyes of the world" because of the
cyclist's failed drug test, the head of the World Anti-Doping Agency said Thursday.
WADA chief Dick Pound suggested Hamilton got away with cheating
in Athens, where a preliminary test indicated he had received an
endurance-boosting blood transfusion. The IOC dropped its probe
because Hamilton's backup specimen mistakenly was frozen and there
weren't enough red blood cells left to analyze.
That meant Hamilton was able to keep his gold medal.
But Hamilton, a former University of Colorado skier, still faces
a possible two-year ban over a separate positive blood test at the
Spanish Vuelta two weeks after the Olympics. Hamilton's Phonak team
said both blood samples he provided there came back positive.
The American insists he is innocent and has vowed to clear his name.
"It appears a cyclist might have escaped this net because of
human error," Pound said, without identifying Hamilton by name.
"But I can assure you it's no longer a gold medal in the eyes of
"If nothing else, we got him on the second bounce."